Russia warns West about fate of weapons sent to Ukraine
Some of the weapons sent by the West to Ukraine have failed to reach their intended destination and may fuel conflict further afield, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned on Tuesday
Speaking at a ministry meeting, Shoigu said “the collective West, in hopes of dragging out the conflict in Ukraine, continues large-scale arms supplies to the Kiev regime.”
“More than 28,000 tons of military cargo have already been delivered to the country,” the defense minister revealed.
However, according to the Russian military’s information, “some of the foreign weapons supplied by the West to Ukraine are spreading throughout the Middle East region, and also end up on the black market,” Shoigu said.
The minister’s remarks came soon after an RT Russian investigation revealed that deliveries of lethal aid from the US, UK, and other NATO countries to Ukraine led to the appearance of dark web marketplaces, where some of the weapons can be purchased.
The Ukrainian traders claim to offer not just small arms or body armor, but also sophisticated hardware such as Javelin and NLAW anti-tank systems, and Phoenix Ghost and Switchblade explosive drones. However, it cannot be completely ruled out that the sellers do not actually have the weapons in stock, as the RT investigators did not complete any purchases.
Late last month, the G7 countries pledged to provide support to Ukraine in all possible forms “for as long as it takes.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron stressed that their countries would continue to supply weapons to Kiev in order to “strengthen their hand in both the war and any future negotiations.”
Last month, the head of Interpol, Jurgen Stock, warned that the conflict in Ukraine will result in numerous weapons appearing on the black market.
In April, a US official told CNN that the White House has “almost zero” ability to track the weapons it sends to Ukraine.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in May that he discussed the importance of tracking and safeguarding the US-supplied arms with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, who assured him that they are keeping an eye on them.
Moscow has warned against supplying Western weapons to Ukraine, arguing that it only prolongs the fighting, while increasing the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russia also made it clear that its forces would consider any foreign weaponry on Ukrainian territory to be legitimate targets.