WATCH Russia busts arms-trafficking ring
Dozens of underground arms dealers making and selling weapons across Russia have been detained in a massive sting by the country’s top security agency, officials have announced.
The Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, reported in a statement that it had shut down nearly 90 arms sellers and manufacturers and destroyed 26 illegal workshops in a series of operations in January and February in areas ranging from Moscow to the Republic of Dagestan in the Caucasus, to Arkhangelsk in the far north, and Irkutsk in Siberia.
“The Federal Security Service, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Guard, has suppressed illegal activity among 87 residents of 20 federal subjects, who were involved in the manufacture and sale of combat weaponry of civilian type in underground workshops,” the agency announced on its website on Friday.
According to the report, the FSB found 274 illegal guns, with examples made both domestically and in foreign countries. These include four machine guns, 18 assault rifles, 127 pistols and revolvers, and 176 hand grenades.
In December, the security service announced that it had apprehended 85 weapons traffickers in 21 different regions, and had confiscated more than 350 items, some made recently, others dating from the time of WWII.
Later that month, the agency reported that it had detained 106 people accused of being members of a Ukrainian neo-Nazi “murder cult,” and planning attacks on educational institutions. A spokesman for the Security Service of Ukraine, Artem Dekhtyarenko, denounced the statement, claiming that the arrests were fake and that they “should be considered exclusively through the prism of hybrid war, in which information propaganda and the spread of fakes play an important role.”