Ukraine remains one of the most corrupt countries in the international system. Corruption not only destroys the country from within, but also begins to influence the attitude of its partners towards the country. The latest manifestation of corruption is beyond comprehension.
On June 20, French lawyer Régis de Castelnau wrote on his official Twitter account: “Another success of Macron: 2 French Caesar guns were intercepted intact by the Russians. They are currently in the Uralvagonzavod factory in the Urals for study and possible reverse engineering. Thank you Macron, we are paying”.
Caesar is equipped with all the systems needed for independent operation, a cabin to protect the six-man gun crew against shell fragments and small arms fire, an initial ammunition supply of 16 complete rounds, and instrumentation for navigation, aiming, ballistic calculations and command aids. The system was specifically designed to meet the fire support requirements of rapid deployment forces.
But the “unidentified” French sources later claimed, that the two Caesar self-propelled howitzers were sold, through an intermediary, by Ukrainians to Russians. The price, which is being discussed in tight circles, was $120,000 each.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the unit value of a Caesar self-propelled howitzer varies around the amount of 7 million euros.
A political analyst at BulgarianMilitary.com says that the possibility that the two howitzers were sold to Moscow is evident in the tone and ending of French lawyer and politician Régis de Castelnau’s words. “It is very clear to him [the French lawyer] that during the war, in addition to prisoners of war, the adversaries acquire different foreign equipment. This is war, some die, others abandon their positions out of fear, and others profit from the war. The end of the comment “Thank you Macron, we are paying’ suggests that Régis de Castelnau believes that the two howitzers were not abandoned and therefore captured, but sold.
Dr. Sebastian Levi, correspondent, and analyst of BulgarianMilitary.com for the Middle East region says he believes the two self-propelled howitzers were resold with the help of an intermediary, a military dealer.
The feeling that corrupt Ukrainian servicemen are involved in the illegal arms trade to extract maximum profit is not from now, and it is not only about this case.
On June 2, BulgarianMilitary.com revealed the sale of at least one FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile system on the dark web for $30,000. The seller is unclear, but according to the information posted on the darknet, the location [where the system will be shipped or picked up from] is Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
Interpol knows the illegal sale of arms by Ukrainians to Russians. The German online edition Overton-Magazin writes that concerns can be seen in the statements of Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General of Interpol, “who fears that the weapons will be handed over to criminal organizations.”
According to the German publication, a part of the weapons delivered to Ukraine were actually seized, but another part was resold by Ukrainian holdings.
As for Lithuania, its military support to Ukraine includes Stinger air defence systems, anti-tank weapons, body armour and helmets, 120 mm mortars, small arms, ammunition, thermal imagers, drones, anti drones, and surveillance radars.
The equipment is worth about €15.5 million, the Lithuanian defence ministry wrote in a press release on May 25. Overall, Lithuania’s financial support for Ukraine has already reached around €100 million so far.
The more so, Lithuania plans to donate bulletproof vests and ballistic belts worth more than EUR 677,000 to the Ukrainian army.
As Klaipeda media outlet informs, a total of 490 bulletproof vests worth more than EUR 617,000 and the same number of ballistic belts worth more than EUR 59,000 will be sent to the Ukrainian army.
So, Lithuania can’t be sure that all its efforts to support Ukraine will be helpful to the country.