#Commentary of Ekaterina Martyanova on illegal circulation of weapons in Ukraine
The Ukrainian press continues to be saturated with reports of armed attacks, arms trafficking and even weapon and explosive stashes. The latest news on the subject is an armed attack near a city hall in Kharkov and illegal weapon stash in Odessa, the owner of which was selling ammunition and weapons through the Internet.
The problem of illegal circulation of weapons, which the Ukrainian authorities are facing, has been pressing for four years. According to the experts of Small Arms Survey, there were from 2.2 up to 6.3 million unregistered weapons in Ukraine as at April 2017. The Chairman of Supervisory Board of Ukrainian Gun Owners Association Georgy Uchaykin confirmed those statistics. According to him, Ukrainians can possibly have up to 5 million weapons at the moment.
However, the problem of illegal weapons cannot be regarded in itself. It should be remembered that militants come to Ukraine in addition to army transfers from the zone of the Joint Forces Operation. Meanwhile, the standard of living in the country is falling drastically. And if we put it all together, we get an increase in crime and banditry. Thus, there are many factors in Ukraine that are brought to one point, as a result of which there were incidents as the Kharkov one, where even the attacker’s wife was a victim.
Moreover, weapons from Ukraine are sold to Western Europe. Ukraine has become a trans-shipment point for illegal arms dealers and moved up to the first place in the weapons black market in Europe. At least, it was able to take a leading position in this trade area.
We see what all this gun mayhem means to ordinary citizens in crime reports and criminal statistics. However, statistics do not show destroyed lives, orphan children and many other things. Ukraine is reaping the fruits of a civil war.
Ekaterina Martyanova, the DPR People’s Council deputy