Ukraine: Illegal arms supplies to Georgia

A scandal on government-inspired illegal arm supplies to Georgia gathers strength in Ukraine.

A parliamentary investigative commission has already revealed facts on supplying arms worth a whopping 200 million dollars to the Saakashvili regime, including air defense missiles and multiple rocket launchers the Georgians used on August 8 in their attempt to raze the South Ossetian capital Tskhinval to the ground. Some of these state of the art weapons are not even used by the Ukrainian armed forces. Experts say the Ukrainians adapted the Buk air defense complexes for use in mountain terrain and even fired them during combat. The latest consignment of Buk missiles reached Georgia as recently as in June.

Many Ukrainian MP believe that these illegal arms supplies to Georgia give them ample reason to impeach President Viktor Yushchenko. In Moscow State Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin does not think this will happen though

All these things started happening right after Yushchenko came to power and have been going on ever since, Zatulin says. In a normal political situation, this would have caused an angry uproar with dire consequences for the President. The reason this is not happening is the failure of a coalition attempt between the Yulia Timoshenko bloc and the Party o regions, led by Viktor Yanukovich.

Meanwhile, experts tend to believe that President Yushchenko’s political career is now over anyway. By selling the Buk missiles to Georgia, he dealt a crippling blow to his own country’s defenses. The thing is, these complexes were taken away from a Ukrainian air defense regiment which was effectively rendered useless. This has also irretrievably marred Ukraine’s image abroad…

According to Russia media reports, the Ukrainian ship now being held by Somali pirates too contains contraband arms for South Sudan and it looks like similar scandals could also start popping out soon. Many people in Kiev say that the recent blaze at an arms depot in Kharkov was actually a case of arson meant as a cover up for illegal amps sales abroad.


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