In a statement targeting NATO, the former Russian Prime Minister has claimed that weapons provided by the alliance to Ukraine are currently being used in attacking Israel.
Ex-Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, currently serving as Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, has issued a pointed statement through his Telegram channel, challenging NATO with the question, “Well, NATO friends, have you finished playing?”
He claims that weapons supplied to the Ukrainian government, which he describes as a “neo-Nazi regime,” are actively being utilized in Israel.
Medvedev has raised concerns about the potential consequences of these arms, suggesting that they might follow a path similar to the weapons left behind by the departing Americans in Afghanistan, ultimately leading to uncontrolled deployments in various global hotspots.
The Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation pointed out that even in the past, “the corrupt authorities of Ukraine” were involved in the illicit trade of everything they received.
Medvedev alleged that Kyiv had been stealing gas, oil, food, and various materials, taking advantage of any opportunity for wrongdoing.
He warned that the situation will likely deteriorate further, warning the world to anticipate the emergence of missiles, tanks, and potentially even aircraft from Kyiv on the black market. However, he did not offer any substantiating evidence to support these assertions.
On the other hand, Israel has refuted these claims, stating that they possess no information to suggest that the weapons transferred to Ukraine have found their way into the hands of Hamas.
The Israeli Ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Ben Zvi, has responded to these claims, telling TASS, “We don’t have that information.”
He further suggested seeking information from parties closer to Hamas, such as the Russian side, as they may possess more relevant data.
In addition to Russia, a member of the US Congress has also advocated for an inquiry into the origin of any US-manufactured weapons utilized by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
Worries Arise Regarding Ukrainian Weapons Entering The Black Market
The surge in weapons shipments from the United States to European battlefields has played a pivotal role in Ukraine’s ability to stand its ground against a formidable Russian foe.
However, this influx of arms into a nation grappling with corruption has ignited valid concerns and suspicions.
On the one hand, it is viewed as a well-intentioned effort to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities. Still, on the other, it has raised worries that the chaos of war may inadvertently facilitate a thriving illicit arms trade.
Moscow has consistently asserted that the increasing flow of weaponry has the potential to fall into unauthorized hands globally.
On October 9, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova shared on her Telegram channel documentation highlighting Russia’s repeated warnings to the international community regarding the possibility of Western-supplied weapons to Kyiv ending up on black markets.
The Russian diplomat has shared excerpts from statements made during official briefings from March 2022.
“For 1.5 years, at official briefings at the Russian Foreign Ministry, I have been talking about how NATO, primarily American weapons, supplied to [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky, are spreading to the black markets,” Zakharova said.
Zakharova attributed this concerning trend to corruption within Ukraine and the perceived entanglement of corruption between Washington and Kyiv.
On the contrary, Western experts believe Russia is intentionally fostering these apprehensions to pressure Western nations into halting or reducing their arms supply to Ukraine.
So far, US officials have reported only a limited number of instances involving suspected arms trafficking or unauthorized military transfers of advanced weaponry dispatched to foreign conflict zones, which demand close monitoring.
In May, The New York Times disclosed that American investigators were actively reviewing reports of Javelin shoulder-fired rockets and Switchblade drones reportedly being advertised for sale on the internet, with allegations that these weapons had been acquired from Ukraine.
However, there was one confirmed case of a Swedish anti-tank grenade launcher being taken from Ukraine. But this theft was uncovered after the launcher exploded in a car trunk near Moscow, injuring a retired Russian military officer who had returned from eastern Ukraine.
That being said, besides Russia, Chinese state media has also highlighted the potential risk of these supplied weapons finding their way into the dark web and possibly into the hands of terrorist groups.