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14.4.2021 : 6:47 : +0200

New Briefing Paper on 'Measuring Illicit Arms Flows: Ukraine'


Measuring Illicit Arms Flows: Ukraine is the fourth case study in a series examining the measurement of illicit arms flows in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 16.

Based on interviews carried out in Kiev in addition to desk research , this analysis outlines the sources of illicit arms flows in Ukraine and the status of government plans or action to counter the problem, the trafficking routes used to smuggle weapons, and key indicators of illicit arms flows in the period 2010-2016.

Key findings:

  • Ukrainian civilians possess large numbers of unregistered small arms. The conflict in the east has contributed to significant diversion and losses from national stockpiles and the proliferation of a wider array of weapons types. 
  • The conflict and the concomitant increase in insecurity correlate with increased seizures from 2013 to 2014, although efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons have recovered only a modest number of illicit firearms.
  • Ukraine still has no primary law regulating the manufacture, purchase, and possession of firearms and no central state register of civilian-held firearms. This makes it difficult even to differentiate between legal and illegal firearms in the country—and, by extension, complicates efforts to monitor and address illicit arms flows.




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