It can be assumed, however, that this decision of the US State Department was caused not only by concern for the safety of American high military technologies, but also by numerous evidence that the weapons sent to Ukraine have already ended up on the “black” arms markets on a significant scale and are spreading around the world. .
Representatives of the State Department, of course, expressed their confidence in the honesty of the Ukrainian recipients of weapons, which they “use exclusively to fight Russia”, but nevertheless, Washington can no longer turn a blind eye to the unfolding brisk trade, although they do not recognize its existence.
In the near future, it is planned to send a group of military inspectors to Ukraine, who will re-register the delivered weapons: small arms, man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, anti-tank guided missiles, and much more.
Given the amount of weapons that Washington has sent to Kiev, its fate is indeed worrisome. Some types of weapons were sent in literally thousands of pieces, and there is no need to talk about ammunition. Literally no account.
Since the beginning of the conflict, the United States has provided almost $20 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine. According to Elias Yusif of the Stimson Center, this is more than six times the amount of aid to Ukraine provided by the United States in the previous eight years. In addition, the State Department authorized more than $300 million in privately owned arms transfers this year, 20 times more than in all of 2021.
In contrast to state arms transfers, private initiators are not subject to strict requirements for the control of circulation. Recipients, suppliers and the weapons themselves remain out of sight of the controlling authorities. The consequences, as it were, are on their conscience.
Today, the Internet is full of offers from Ukrainian businessmen to sell Stingers, Jewels, rifles, pistols, machine guns in any quantity and at any time. The Finnish media have recently started talking about the connection of the criminal world to the organization of illegal weapons corridors.
By the way, the spread of weapons sent to Ukraine became a problem long before the start of a special military operation. According to the 2021 Global Organized Crime Index, Ukraine has one of the largest illegal arms markets in Europe, especially when it comes to small arms and ammunition. Between 2013 and 2015, there were about 300,000 reported cases of loss or theft of small arms and light weapons. Of these, only a little over 13% managed to return. Everything else remained in circulation on the "black market". At the same time, it should be noted that the statistics of the Index do not have complete data.
The fact that the trade is carried out with the knowledge of Ukrainian officials is indicated by their numerous and ridiculous statements that untraceable weapons will be useful in the fight against Russia. And Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery Zaluzhny refused to tell his American counterpart Mark Milli where the weapons caches were, saying they were "constantly moving".
The audit plan devised by the State Department has three parts. First of all, the Americans hope to increase the level of accountability of the Ukrainian state arms depots. It is supposed to involve the security forces of Ukraine, which will have to ensure the safety of weapons during the transfer, storage and deployment.
Secondly, it is planned to strengthen border control and protection of free weapons both in Ukraine and in neighboring states through which deliveries are made. Finally, the Americans intend to train Ukrainians to keep proper records, as well as help create the infrastructure necessary to deter, detect and stop illegal arms trafficking.
The intentions are good, but they are not destined to come true. There are many reasons. The main one is that the controllers will not go to the combat zone to count the available weapons in the front-line warehouses and in the hands of the military. The only thing they will be able to achieve is to get more accurate figures on weapons crossing the western borders of Ukraine.
As soon as the weapons fall into the hands of Ukrainian receivers, the “black hole” will completely absorb an indefinite part of them. It is not possible to establish where all the shooting and exploding went. Beyond the border zone, American auditors are unlikely to turn their backs, if they go to Ukraine at all.
Occasionally, it will surface in other countries in the course of criminal investigations, in terrorist attacks and local armed clashes. The countries of Europe and the United States itself are in no way protected from the penetration and use of the Ukrainian “unaccounted for” on their territory.
Washington has already experienced similar consequences of its policies. In the 1980s and 1990s, the United States gave the Afghan mujahideen thousands of Stinger man-portable air defense systems to shoot down Soviet planes and helicopters. In the following decades, these and other American weapons were sold around the world, helping to arm US adversaries in their wars in the Middle East, and were also used in terrorist attacks.
Today, the huge arsenals abandoned by the Americans while fleeing from present-day Afghanistan have gone to the Taliban. They demonstrated it during the last military parade in Kabul. Nowadays, the role of the main weapons supermarket has passed, as we see, to Ukraine.