22:23 GMT27 January 2020
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    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)
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    Contrary to the West's democratic expectations, Ukraine has degenerated into Europe's "weapons supermarket," Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported. Additionally, Ukraine's uncontrollable black arms market may aggravate the terrorist threat in Europe.

    According to NRK, a used gun in today's Ukraine may be procured for a meagre 20 dollars as opposed to 400 dollars for a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Even dealers in Kiev, which lies a good distance away from the warzone, may even offer you heavier weapons, such as bazookas, provided that they get some time to acquire it.

    Whereas for European mainstream media Russia is the habitual scapegoat for all the evil that happens in Ukraine, this is clearly not the case this time. There is substantial evidence that the bulk of the weapons sold on the black market originate from the Ukrainian military or from the about 40 volunteer militia battalions fighting the Ukrainian side outside the military chain of command. According to NRK, the current of illegal arms originated as easy money for Ukrainian soldiers and paramilitaries in the warzone drenched with weapons. Large caches with weapons and explosives are being discovered weekly, whereas passengers carrying illegal arms are being removed from trains from eastern Ukraine almost daily.

    Unsurprisingly, this is not the first time Ukrainian soldiers have been caught weapons smuggling. Earlier, Daesh supplies of Ukrainian-made weapons were seized by Syrian forces, whereas Kuwaiti security forces uncovered an international cell that supplied Daesh with Chinese-made weapons purchased in Ukraine.

    The real scope of the illegal arms trade remains uncertain, as the Ukrainian authorities have classified all relevant data. However, the head of the Ukrainian Association of Gun Owners Georgiy Uchaikin estimated that there are as many as five million illegal portable firearms in the country.

    "Ukraine has become a weapon supermarket. In Ukraine, a handgun is like shoe polish in a shoe factory," Uchaykin quipped sarcastically.

    The sheer number and the availability of firearms have already triggered a sharp rise in violent crime across Ukraine. Even the US State Department, which usually tends to close its eyes to their Ukrainian protégés' shortcomings, admitted that crime rose 20 percent in just one year from 2014 to 2015 in the capital city alone. When it comes to armed crimes, the figures reveal more than a doubling in two years.

    In addition to aggravating the situation at home, there are fears that weapons will be sneaked westward to Europe along the same routes that are currently used for smuggling of cigarettes. The uncontrollable amount of weapons may be used for further terrorist attacks against Europe. In June, the Ukrainian Security Service revealed that large quantities of explosives, planned for terrorist attacks during the Euro 2016 Football Championship, had been confiscated.

    Previously, the former Yugoslav republics were the main source of weapons for terrorists, as the incessant wars during the disintegration of former Yugoslavia left the whole region flooded with arms. Today, Ukraine is beginning to take over. It is therefore no longer a secret that the Ukrainian conflict is bound to have dismal consequences far outside the war zone.

    Topic:
    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)

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    arms smuggling, terrorism threat, arms, weapons, NRK, Ukraine
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