A Tale of Two Lot Numbers: The Illicit Proliferation of Hand Grenades in Ukraine

Matt Schroeder

'Ukraine has a grenade problem. In recent years, thousands of the inexpensive, easy-to-use weapons have found their way into the hands of criminals and other unauthorized end-users throughout the country. The wayward grenades are part of a broader problem of illicit proliferation of small arms, light weapons, and their ammunition that has plagued Ukraine since Russian-backed separatists launched their uprising in 2014.

This blog post tells the story of the illicit proliferation of hand grenades in Ukraine by tracking the spread of a very specific sub-group these items, namely RGD-5 grenades from two production lots: 25–75 and 27–75. These are among the most frequently-encountered lot numbers, and incidents of their diversion span the entire timeline of the conflict. As such, cases involving their proliferation are useful for illustrating how quickly and widely grenades and other illicit light weapons have spread, and the danger that these items pose in the wrong hands...'

Keywords: Hand grenades RGD-5 grenades Grenades Ammunition