Why Russia is spreading fakes about “arms smuggling” in Ukraine?
Russia launched a disinformation campaign against Ukraine, the European Union and NATO about the alleged “smuggling” of weapons supplied by the allies.
The order of control over the movement of equipment supplied with the use of the European Peace Fund (European Peace Facility) is ensured during the supply process and after its completion in cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Of course, this process is transparent, as far as the current situation allows.
After all, weapons supplied to Ukraine are a potential target for hostile actions by the Russian aggressor.
Therefore, operational details on the supply of such equipment are not commented on. But the relevant information on the nature of supplies made thanks to EU funds is reflected in the decisions of the EU Council. As Pentagon spokesman General Patrick Ryder said during a December 14 briefing, the United States has not received any confirmation that Western weapons provided to Ukraine as defense aid could be diverted to third countries.
On December 14, EU Speaker for Foreign and Security Policy Peter Stano confirmed that the EU considers information about “arms smuggling” from Ukraine to be massive Russian propaganda.
The European Union Police Service (Europol) said it has no evidence of arms smuggling from Ukraine and is working closely with the Ukrainian side to prevent this problem.
Also in Ukraine they want to create a hub to better inform about the use of weapons. To this end, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted for Resolution No. 7563 on the formation of a Temporary Special Commission for Monitoring the Receipt and Use of International Material and Technical Assistance during Martial Law.
❓ Why is Russia so persistent in spreading fake news about the misuse of weapons provided to Ukraine?
By spreading fakes about smuggling, the aggressor country wants to disrupt the supply of Western weapons, which play a decisive role in the liberation of the territory of Ukraine, trying to change the situation at the front in its favor.
Thus, the Kremlin is trying to divert the attention of the world community from the facts of smuggling and misuse of weapons by Russia itself. The Kremlin’s insistence on exchanging the Russian illegal arms trader Bout is proof.
Although during military and demonstrative testing of new models of military equipment and weapons, Russian experts emphasize that “there are no analogues”, expert analysis proves the opposite.
For example, analysis of the wreckage of the 9M727 rocket, used since the beginning of the war against infrastructure facilities in Ukraine, made by specialists from the Royal United Institute for Defense Research (RUSI) proved that the rocket’s computer was almost entirely assembled from American microelectronics. And the Kinzhal hypersonic missile, used by Russian propagandists to scare NATO, is an air modification of the 9M727, and also consists of American components. The computers of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system TOR-2M, Iskander-M, Kalibr and Kh-101 missiles contain an oscillator (voltage stabilization device) made in Britain.
The RUSI report notes that the Russian Il-76 landing aircraft contains 80 imported components that the Russian Federation does not produce, and the operation of the GLONASS navigation system used to guide missiles is completely dependent on imported microcircuits.
The Aqueduct radio stations contain components from the USA, the Netherlands, Korea and Japan, the Orlan drone is a GPS module from the Swiss company U-blox, a starter-generator from the American Texas Instruments Incorporated and a flight controller from the Franco-Italian STMicroelectronics.
Russia involves its allies (Iran, India) in smuggling schemes and actively uses the opportunities of the criminal world, which carries out the illegal circulation of weapons.
The Russian “black market” for smuggled weapons in Russia contains between 5 and 20 million firearms of various kinds, mostly stolen from military depots. The clients of the illegal arms market in Russia are criminal groups and terrorist organizations. Recently, the Russian military in Ukraine and militants from the uncontrolled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions have become a source of illegal weapons and ammunition.
❓How to overcome Russian smuggling of technology and weapons?
The actual blocking of the US and the EU after February 24 smuggling channels led to the fact that the Western world faced an unprecedented threat of illegal export of technology and weapons to the Russian Federation.
To overcome it, it is necessary to significantly strengthen control in vulnerable areas, namely:
🔸 Generate an exhaustive list of Western technologies used by the aggressor in military equipment. Ukraine can help Western partners in this, where the occupiers are leaving military equipment.
🔸It is necessary to strengthen control over the sale of sensitive electronics produced by third countries using Western technologies, and introduce a mechanism for tracking goods even after they are exported.
December 14, 2022
Writer Irina Mirochnik is the President at IMMER Group & Doctor of Philosophy in Law(PhD)
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