Western Weapons Shipped to Ukraine Could End Up on Black Market: Warning

Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine as part of a military support, upon its delivery at Kyiv's airport Boryspil on February 11,2022, amid the crisis linked with the threat of Russia's invasion. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP) …

A Canadian NGO has warned that Western weapons shipped to Ukraine could not only end up in Russian hands but may even end up being sold on the international black market.

Kelsey Gallagher, who works as a researcher for the NGO Project Ploughshares, sounded the alarm about the possibility that Canadian and other foreign weapons could end up in Russian hands and be used against Ukrainian forces — and others.

“There is the real threat that the Ukrainian government can potentially not control all of these weapons,” Gallagher told Canadian public broadcaster CBC, roughly equivalent to Britain’s BBC.

“Whenever this conflict does subside … these weapons aren’t just going to go ‘poof’ and disappear,” she pointed out.

“I do think that surging huge amounts of weapons into Ukraine, where there might not be the capacity to fully absorb them and to ensure that they’re going into the hands they’re supposed to be going, could, in the long run, be a disservice to the Ukrainian people and civilians in the region,” Gallagher said.

Costanza Musu, a University of Ottawa professor, also highlighted the problem, saying: “We cannot exclude entirely the possibility that some of that weaponry will end up in the wrong hands.”

Last year when the Taliban overran the Afghan government and marched into Kabul, they were able to seize huge stores of United States-made military hardware, including Black Hawk helicopters and armoured vehicles.

The Taliban later even held a military parade in Kandahar showing off the various pieces of U.S. military hardware they had captured.

While it remains unclear how many, if any, Western-made weapons have been captured by the Russians during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has stated that he would support giving captured arms to separatist forces in the Donbas.

“As to the delivery of arms, especially Western-made ones which have fallen into the hands of the Russian army — of course, I support the possibility of giving these to the military units of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics,” President Putin said.

While most arms shipments to Ukraine have been small arms and anti-tank or anti-air weapons, the Polish government announced last week it would donate its entire fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine via the United States — but the Biden administration later rejected the idea.

“It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, adding: “We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously boasted that he was working “very actively” on a plan for the Poles to donate the jets directly, however.

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