Smuggling arms: Himars sold on black market?

Rumors about “plundering” and “reselling” Western military aid by Ukraine are hostile propaganda. It is impossible to steal the HIMARS artillery missile system, as it is equipped with GPS navigation, which means it is carefully tracked from the satellite. And in the event of a “resale”, such a system will be blocked and turned into scrap metal. Military expert Serhiy Grabsky stated this on the air of the Dom and UA TV channels.

Why did Western countries delay the supply of serious weapons, which could have changed the course of events even before February 24?

It would be wrong to say that we were delayed with the transfer of weapons. Because, after all, we were supplied with weapons in those volumes that were considered sufficient for conducting defense operations. I am talking, first of all, about Javelin anti-tank missile systems and some other types of weapons.

In addition, even then, the Ukrainian army was gradually moving to new standards of command and control. We have already applied new aerial reconnaissance protocols, used unmanned aerial vehicles on a larger scale, and so on.

Again, at the beginning of the war, many simply did not believe that Ukraine would stand up in this fight. Western partners did not see the point then to transfer heavy weapons, which, according to many analysts, could fall into the hands of the Russians. Therefore, we were given weapons that made it possible to conduct both guerrilla warfare and tactical battles. These were anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

Gradually, with the increase in the activity of hostilities and the understanding that Ukraine, after all, survived and can fight, a decision was made to receive and provide us with more and more modern and powerful weapons systems.

However, for the last 30 years, Europe and the entire civilized world have not been preparing for such a war, which began on February 24th. Therefore, even the available stocks of ready-to-use weapons and military equipment are simply not enough. And in order to restore, calibrate, bring into operational condition, it took time. It is precisely with this that we have only now begun to receive more modern weapons of Western standards.

But at the same time, we must not forget that [Soviet] weapons were transferred to us in fairly large quantities from the countries of the former Warsaw bloc. Now we use the weapons and military equipment that we can ensure the operation of. I’m talking about Soviet-style equipment, including aviation. And we are gradually deploying the infrastructure to ensure the operation of more modern types of weapons and military equipment. And I want to note that it was the fourth meeting of the Rammstein conference that was devoted to the standardization and deployment of this particular system.

In parallel with the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine, there was talk that, conditionally, Javelin, HIMARS can already be bought on the black market. What do you think of it?

I believe that this is another information and psychological operation of our enemy, not only against Ukraine, but also against the entire civilized world.

Of course, in addition to the open phase of the war, the enemy continues to wage a hybrid war. And in this way he is trying to discredit Ukraine and stop or at least reduce the volume of arms supplies that go to our country.

HIMARS, as a high-precision weapon, has its own GPS navigation systems. And we remember what happened to the harvesters that the military Chechens took to their homeland from our Kherson region. The combines just stopped. Exactly the same situation with HIMARS – they are simply impossible to steal.

As for Javelin, why only Ukraine? There has always been a black market for weapons, and the same weapons could be bought with Afghan or South American markings and others.

In addition to programs for the transfer and sale of weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, what else is needed for the de-occupation processes to be successful in the near future?

Yes, the de-occupation process is very important. With motivated personnel, we are all right. But in terms of the ratio of weapons and military equipment, we are still lagging behind the Russian Federation. But there is no question that we have exactly the same number of tanks or aircraft, artillery systems. We are talking about the supply and creation of additional stocks of weapons. Armament gives us the opportunity to secure an advantage and defeat the enemy.

The world community says that the supply of weapons will continue. Do you see any risks that this process may be suspended?

The Kremlin has become a hostage to its propaganda clichés that someone may be tired of the war in Ukraine, someone is not aware of the situation. There was a political statement by the heads of the leading countries of the world about worldwide support for Ukraine – this political statement was made at the highest level, that is, it cannot be canceled.

In addition, the Kremlin’s propagandists cannot understand in any way that the supply of weapons is, in general, support for the economies of these countries. Therefore, weapons will continue to be supplied in large volumes, because the process of general modernization has been launched. For example, military equipment from the former Warsaw Pact countries is coming into service with us, and they are getting more modern equipment. That is, the chain is running and it can no longer be stopped. This process has both political and economic underpinnings, so it makes no sense to talk about some kind of fatigue here.