In any war there are forces that get involved in it for the profit. Ukraine is no exception to this rule. This business is very profitable, given the mentality of the Ukrainian political elite. Money is made on everything from the sale of weapons to collecting tribute at checkpoints and looting.
Selling weapons aimed at enriching has long been one of the peculiarities of Ukrainian military policy. Ukraine is literally flooded with unregistered weapons and ammunition brought from Donbass. News about disappearance of equipment, weapons and uniforms that are ‘lost’ in unexplained circumstances appear in the Ukrainian media from time to time.
One of such specific areas became the sale of empty cartridge cases from the zone of the so-called ATO. On the Internet, on various sites you can see approximately such suggestions: “empty cartridge cases, very fresh (last night shot) 2 calibers of 70 mm long, very fresh. The price is 70 kopecks per 1 pcs. In total 170 pcs in stock. Payment on the card PrivatBank.”
The AFU soldiers tell that in the scrap-yards the one can fetch up to 200 hryvnia per a cartridge of 155 caliber. According to some skilled businessmen, a one 20-kg cartridge case from heavy artillery, which contains brass and copper, will cost on the black market from 1400 hryvnia. Sometimes the money from the sold cartridges are the only source of income for soldiers, because the Ukrainian state, sending them to the war, does not pay salaries for months and does not provide uniforms.
According to the Head of Utilization Department from the Alienation Department of Military Property of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Alexander Yemelyanenko, ammunition “is utilized, that is, given to recycling to scrap-yards.” In fact, according to Ukrainian investigative journalism and media reports from Ukrainian volunteers, ammunition is taken by KamAZ to Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye to the large wholesale warehouses of non-ferrous metals, and then abroad. For example, last year Ukrainian border guards detained a cargo: more than 134 tons of non-ferrous metals, namely compressed empty cartridge cases from mortars and small arms caliber 5.45 and 12.7 millimeters. The cargo followed by rail from Kramatorsk to Rybnitsa – a city that is located in the Republic of Moldova.
We can only guess what amounts of metal overpass and have overpassed earlier the border control and what income organizers of this smuggling have.
In conclusion, it remains to ask, who then shells Donbass from guns of various caliber if you can make a handsome fortune from cartridges? Ukrainian media in each broadcast talk about the glorious Ukrainian army, which complies with Minsk agreements. It remains a mystery, where in this case such volumes of empty cartridges come from? Where do shells fired from the self-propelled howitzers and leaving behind 155-millimeter cartridges hit, taking into account that Donbass is a densely populated area? And the funny thing is that just the Ukrainian media have begun to question, “Who became a millionaire by participating in the ‘ATO’?”
It turns out that the Ukrainian corrupted authorities by hands of ordinary soldiers earn millions. And if on the remaining part of the former Ukraine no one is shelled from artillery for profit, in Donbass such ‘enterprise’ is built on the blood of our citizens.
Vladimir Bidyovka, the DPR People’s Council deputy