"СЕНСС" марта 8, 2020 No Comments

Over the past 5 years, the number of explosives seized by law enforcement agencies in Ukraine has increased by 6 times. More and more often, the mass media reports about tragic cases when children find explosives. Weapons become the closing argument in resolving domestic conflicts.

Viktoriia Voronina, Executive Director of the Center for Security Studies “CENSS”, told about it on the air of the program “Criminal” on the channel “Priamyi”. The experts also discussed how to prevent children’s access to weapons and ammunition.

Where is the biggest source of illegal weapons?

“The “most conditionally dangerous territories” of Ukraine are Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, and Kyiv Oblasts and city of Kyiv. Weapons are also very common in Odesa and Lviv Oblasts. The most affected by the illegal use of weapons are family members, close relatives to whom weapons are used in case of conflicts, including if a person is in a state of alcohol intoxication,” noted Viktoriia Voronina. A lot of weapons are used by youth, they are persons of the age from 18 to 25 years old, often they are organized into criminal groups and thus present the greatest danger to Ukrainian society.

Children and weapons.

According to Viktoriia Voronina, a typical example of such behavior is when a child sees a hunting rifle at his father’s or grandfather’s and while those turn away or celebrate something with their relatives, the child has free access to the rifle. Another terrible incident occurred when a 14-year-old teenager invited the mother and brother of his girlfriend to a mall and fired against a woman and her son in a mall, hitting the victims in the head, because he and his girlfriend were in conflict. Therefore, the situation changes during domestic conflicts and the methods of solving these conflicts change from non-violent to violent where the weapon could not have been used in theory before.

Legislative amendments to the regulatory framework on the trafficking of weapons.

The regulatory framework on the trafficking of weapons is a complex issue that must be addressed at many levels. First of all, it is legislative work. “We still do not have a law on weapons or a law on the trafficking of weapons. The legal sphere has been regulated by a decree of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, which has been in force since 1995. According to this decree, there is just a certain list of property in Ukraine, that cannot be owned, which includes some types of weapons,” noted the Executive Director of the Center for Security Studies “CENSS”. The issue of permits and registration of weapons is also partly regulated by the Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which determines, among other things, the types of weapons that are allowed to be purchased by citizens of a certain age. However, this is not enough and Ukrainian legislation should have been amended from the 1990s. Now there are several draft bills in the Verkhovna Rada, but they are aimed at refinement, they have not been adopted yet. On the other hand, preventive work is needed, in particular with children and youth in schools. Telling children about the danger that can be caused by weapons, why they cannot use it, in addition, a child is now in such an information field, where he watches constant shelling, combat actions. They see that this is how conflicts can be resolved.

If weapons are found in caches, what are the outcomes and who is in charge of it?

“Depending on who has identified it, the National Police or the Security Service of Ukraine, representatives of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine may be called. And then a criminal case is opened, a pre-trial investigation is conducted into the sources of these weapons, how they got there. Of course, work on the disposal of weapons should be carried out,” said Viktoriia Voronina.

Nowadays there are a lot of caches in the territory of Ukraine. It would seem that if there are weapons in the East, the source of their proliferation is there, but in the study, we recorded the caches in Sumy, Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, and Lviv Oblasts. Weapons get to other territories and can be found there by anyone – a child, an adult, and also used with criminal intent.

Illegal trafficking of explosives: figures.

According to a study conducted by experts of the Center for Security Studies “CENSS”, the number of explosives that were seized on the territory of Ukraine increased by 6 times in 2019. The figures have increased from 1.3 tons in 2015 to 7.5 tons in 2019. There are a lot of instructions on YouTube and the mass media, where they show how to make an explosive yourself. And of course, children, have access to this information.

“Taking into account the negative tendency in the proliferation of explosives on the territory of Ukraine, it should be noted that in 2018-2019 one of the Ministries developed separate instructions and guidelines for children, teachers, employees of enterprises and organizations in the East of Ukraine regarding mines and explosive remnants of war. I think it would be correct to disseminate them and use them throughout Ukraine,” concluded Viktoriia Voronina.

The full conversation can be viewed at the link:

Click here to watch the talk show “CRIMINAL” on the channel “PRIAMYI” for March 7, 2020: