Thursday, February 23 2017 18:00 EET
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: Russia is supplying separatists with weapons and armor
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The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or SIPRI recently released a report about weapons supplied to armed groups. The report stated that Russia has been supplying the separatists in Eastern Ukraine with heavy weaponry.

According to the Institute, in 2012-2016 the number of weapons supplied to armed groups worldwide amounted to 0.02% of the total world weapons market. The report notes that during this period, Russia supplied arms to 50 countries, particularly the separatists in Eastern Ukraine who received tanks and other armored vehicles, as well as anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles.

Experts point out that it is difficult to find evidence of arms supplies for different reasons. In addition to secrecy and propaganda, there are other factors that complicate the process. It was stated that it is difficult to determine with certainty how particular armaments were obtained. The difficulty lies in the fact that the armed groups often use the same weapons or similar ones to those used by the government forces.

In February, a Russian TV channel reported that the separatists of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic or DPR are armed with 700 tanks and 400 infantry fighting vehicles. However, the separatists could not have seized that many weapons from the Ukrainian military.

Separatists detained by the Ukrainian military have long been found to possess weapons that are not used in Ukraine but are in service in the Russian armed forces.

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