New members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces clean newly received weapons in Kyiv, Ukraine February 28, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Reports in the English-language media in recent days that western weapons were being smuggled out of Ukraine and sold. Donor country officials quoted by newspapers also expressed the same concern. The West has now shipped arms worth around $10 billion to Ukraine.

Apparently, the matter has now become so sensitive for Kyiv that the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has now made a detailed statement on the matter. Among other things, he explained that all major weapons supplied by the West, such as artillery, were already equipped with GPS trackers. Where the weapons are located is known in the western capitals. In addition, there are foreign officials in Ukraine who are checking the whereabouts of the weapons. However, there is no such detectability for the smaller weapons such as anti-tank missiles and drones. However, they are reserved for the special forces, Resnikov explained, and they are not widely distributed.

According to the defense minister, Ukraine also uses NATO software to track the distribution of weapons in the country. However, he admitted that too few Ukrainian military personnel have been trained to use the system.

“We have to survive,” he told the Financial Times, “we have reason to smuggle weapons out of the country.” He is only aware of two cases in which weapons found their way across the border to the west: one involved repairing a western artillery piece. The other case involved destroyed Russian tanks for exhibitions in Warsaw and Prague.

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