> Three anti-tank rocket launchers, 15-odd hand grenades, hundreds of bullets, and two anti-tank mines. Souvenirs from the war in Ukraine found at the back of a garage filled with household junk. Police have been struggling with the booming trade in black market arms since the ceasefire ended fighting in Eastern Ukraine.
Hundreds died in the violence and its lead to another consequence that could prove equally dangerous says Reuter's Margarita Chaino Quarta Tenko in Kiev.>> The conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-russian rebels and Government forces to acute amounts of arms from government arsenals>> So, on one hand, rebels received unlimited access to abandoned Ukrainian military bases with full arms storages, and on the other hand, pro-Ukrainian irregular units were given arms from official supplies.
So, both groups were unable to keep proper control over weaponry, and in February 2015 when cease fire was reached, weapons started disappearing from the battlefield.>> At a checkpoint at the edge of a conflict zone, police were used to finding pistols and rifles for hunting. Now, they're seizing grenade launchers.
Prosecution for weapons offenses have doubled here since last year, mainly for negligence, and illegal arms are finding buyers elsewhere.>> Apart from that, weapons are getting into the hand of criminals and being spirited far beyond the conflict zone. Ukraine's security service confirmed that the channel for buying illegal weapons widened.
Reuter's source among rebels also said that weapons were smuggled from rebel controlled territories into Russia.>> Where the weapons end up is hard to prove but police suspect the bulk is destined for other conflict zones like Iraq, Syria, and Libya, where demand for heavy weaponry is big enough to make the risk worthwhile for the arms dealers.