Russia is cynically trying to drag Ukraine into the war in Israel, claiming that Western weapons provided to the Armed Forces of Ukraine ended up in the hands of Hamas terrorists: "It was the Ukrainian mafia that sold it to the terrorists, who have already killed 1,300 Israelis in 6 days and injured about 3,000." This is a fake and the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine warned about it. But, unfortunately, some American politicians and foreign publications, including Turkish ones, are spreading the fake.
...The fact that during the 20 months of the Great War, Russia has been trying to discredit our country and its military and political leadership as a reliable partner in the eyes of Western allies and the whole world is not new. The aggressor does this by spreading disinformation, fakes, and manipulation 24/7, and through completely different "channels." Here we can mention eminent international media outlets such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Der Spiegel, Die Welt, Le Figaro, La Stampa, etc. and loyal (read recruited/bought) "experts" from among former Western politicians and military officers. As for the latter, retired German Colonel Ralf Thiel, Italian General Leonardo Tricarico, former US Senator Richard Black, American military expert Edward Luttwak, British left-wing politician George Galloway, US Congresswomen from the Trumpian wing of the Republican Party Victoria Spartz and Marjorie Green, and so on have already been "featured" among them.
Dirty Kitchen: Thiel, Spartz, and Green "feed" Western societies with fakes about the "black market for weapons"
The far-right Trumpist congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green wrote the following on the social network X (formerly Twitter): "We need to work with Israel to track the serial numbers of all American weapons used by Hamas against Israel. Did it come from Afghanistan? Did it come from Ukraine? It is likely that both."
Iran and Russia are not mentioned here, because "it's not allowed."
This is not the first time that Marjorie Green has repeated idiotic Russian messages. For example, she was the one who talked about "secret US biolabs on the territory of Ukraine." She is the one who regularly promotes the thesis that "the United States is losing to Russia on the territory of Ukraine" and "to end the war, we just need to stop helping with weapons."
Following Green, the Turkish publication dikGAZETE also spread the fake. The article, titled "Weapons sent to Ukraine opened fire in Israel!" states that "Ukrainian Armed Forces commanders were personally involved in the sale of weapons from Western partners on the black market" and that "Russia has long warned of the development of such a dangerous scenario."
"Weapons that came to Ukraine from abroad and were supposed to be used on its own territory ended up in Palestine and are now being used against Israel. This is confirmed by both Hamas and American congressmen. (...) In addition to American M4 rifles, Ukraine could have transferred Stinger missiles to Hamas," dikGAZETE writes.
Well, fakes with a message that puts an equal sign between Ukraine and the "black market" are not uncommon. It's hard to say the exact number of them.
"This information attack was quite expected, because in 2022 Russia launched a large-scale information campaign to reduce or completely block support for Ukraine with weapons by spreading fakes that the weapons supplied to the Armed Forces of Ukraine are sold on the black market," comments Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political observer at the Information Resistance group.
Here are just a few more examples from the past year:
- June 2022. Retired Colonel Ralf Thiel suddenly became a hero of the German media. He said that Ukraine could be included in the list of candidates for accession to the European Union, but that the country has problems with corruption, as the "Ukrainian mafia" sells weapons supplied by Germany. Some media outlets were attracted to the military pensioner's statements.
- July 2022. U.S. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz takes to the podium to express concern about oversight of U.S. arms shipments to Ukraine, which she says could end up in Syria or Mexico.
- October 2022. The Finnish media reported that weapons from Ukraine had allegedly fallen into the hands of Finnish criminals. This was later reprinted even in the Ukrainian media. On behalf of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ukrainian Embassy in Helsinki immediately contacted the Finnish police for details. In response, the Finnish side reported that there was no confirmed information or any specific facts of smuggled weapons being delivered from Ukraine.
According to experts, no cases of Western weapons provided to Ukraine falling into the wrong hands/on the "black market" have been recorded, except, of course, for isolated incidents that cannot be avoided during hostilities: for example, the enemy's capture of a damaged artillery unit, empty tubes from anti-tank missiles, small arms, etc.
Western weapons to Hamas: Ukraine is definitely not involved, but Russia is...
Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, also commented on the Russian fake during the telethon. He stated that Hamas militants use, in particular, small arms that were captured by Russians during the war in Ukraine. According to him, such cases have already been recorded, but they are small in volume.
"The Armed Forces of Ukraine captured a large amount of equipment and heavy weapons, including small arms of the occupiers. Unfortunately, there are also cases of smuggling of our small arms by the Russians. Some samples were smuggled through smuggling channels, and Russia is an armed smuggler in the world today, and transferred to Hamas to implement the PSYOP against Ukraine in the international arena," said Mr. Yusov.
He also noted that it is difficult to determine when Russia could have transferred these weapons to Hamas.
"But from the reaction of Russian propagandists and Kremlin officials we see that this is a complex prepared action that was deployed quite quickly," said the representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine.
Colonel Petro Chernyk in a comment to Military Media Center emphasized that Ukraine is not interested in selling weapons to Hamas. Israel is a strategic ally of the United States, and the United States is Ukraine's main partner. Moreover, the weapons would have to be delivered by sea or land, and this is impossible.
"We can't do anything like that through Iran, because we have imposed sanctions on that country for at least fifty years. It is also impossible to do this through other states, such as Egypt, Syria, or Jordan, because you need to have appropriate logistical routes. So, any information regarding the sale of weapons to Hamas is nothing more than an information and psychological operation."
Meanwhile, Oleksandr Kovalenko says that when Hamas attacked Israel, Russian propaganda revived with renewed vigor, claiming that a number of weapons seized from the terrorists were allegedly of Ukrainian origin: "At the same time, not a single verified sample of such weapons has been confirmed. But who cares about facts if emotions play the main role in fakes? (...) Both information platforms and politicians who advocate for the termination of aid to Ukraine, especially Trumpists, took part in this campaign.
But there is a nuance to these accusations, as well as to many that have been made before.
"First, all weapons and equipment that are transferred to Ukraine are controlled and tracked. It is simply impossible to resell them on the so-called black market," the military analyst emphasizes.
"Moreover, all foreign installations have geo-positioning equipment, so it is easy to determine where they are located. Their number is constantly monitored.
"Secondly, there is the risk of trophies. There is a full-scale war in Ukraine, and equipment is not only damaged and destroyed, but also captured as trophies. Ukraine, for example, has hundreds or even thousands of units of trophy Russian equipment and weapons. Russia also has trophy Ukrainian equipment and weapons, including those samples that were transferred by the West. And our partners are well aware of each such case, and professionals do not make a tragedy out of it, but populists and propagandists, on the contrary, are making a fire," Mr. Kovalenko said.
According to him, if Hamas had tank mechanics among its ranks, the terrorist group would have already been armed with trophy Merkava Mk.4s following the October 7 attack.
"So, Mr. Netanyahu, do not produce Merkava Mk.4 tanks, because they can be captured by Hamas! And in general, disband the IDF, because your soldiers can be taken hostage by terrorists," the expert sadly ironizes.
Finally, when it is planned to transfer certain weapons to Ukraine, the factor of seizure of these weapons or equipment by the enemy is always taken into account.
"From this, conclusions are drawn as to whether it is advisable to transfer this particular weapon or equipment at this stage or not. Whether their possible seizure would harm the security of the United States and its partners and whether the technology could somehow help the enemy. Only after discussing these issues is the transfer carried out," added the Information Resistance group observer.
However, there is another important point.
Taking into account the primary source of this operation, the Russian Federation, it is safe to say that it was involved in the preparation of other aspects of the attack. Mr. Kovalenko is confident that it is unlikely that the Russian organizers of this special operation and its direct participants will be able to answer such questions:
How did it happen that Hamas in the shortest possible time became masters of drone operations, which are not inferior to Russian operators in the combat zone in Ukraine in terms of UAV control experience?
How did it happen that a reliable perimeter security system was hacked by hackers as quickly as possible, since Hamas has never been known for a high level of cyberattacks against Israel?
Where did Hamas terrorists get AK-103 assault rifles, of which the Russian army has only a few, and they were armed mainly by elite units that took part in the invasion of Ukraine in 2022?
"The answers will be inconvenient for pro-Russian forces in the political environment of both the United States and Israel. But it is not important for us to prove anything to the skins that have sold out, but it is important that the leadership of these countries begin to look at the problem of the influence of Russian agents with wide open eyes. Otherwise, without openly calling the enemy the enemy, tragedies like October 7 will be repeated more and more often, and the enemies will organize their propaganda covens that will weaken, not strengthen, the civilized world in the fight against global evil," Oleksandr Kovalenko summarized.
Myroslav Liskovych, Kyiv