Ukraine Exports $1 Billion in Arms to Africa

To the chagrin of the United States, Ukraine arms exporter, Ukrspetsexport, sold almost  $1 Billion of arms and weaponry to foreign nations last year, the bulk of which went to embattled and war-torn African Countries like Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

An article in the Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper gives specifics as to what was purchased based on data collected from the State Service for Export Control of Ukraine:

250 T-55 and T-72 tanks were sold to Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sudan also purchased Grad multiple rocket launchers, 122-mm 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, 152-mm 1S3 Akatsia self-propelled howitzers, D-30 howitzers, 82-mm mortars and a bevy of small arms, 10 000 Kalashnikov assault rifles, RIA Novosti reports.

Additional African countries bought 3 000 rifles, 50 000 submachine guns, 500 light and 100 heavy machine guns and grenade launchers of all types.

The state-run exporter also sent out 95,000 rifles to the U.S. along with a T-80BV battle tank, 32,000 rifles to Germany, and 14 air-to-air missiles to Italy.  

When asked about the sales figures and detailed listing of military products sold, former Ukrspetsexport director Sergei Bondarchuk told the Kommersant-Ukraine, “I don’t trust these figures. As far as I know, we only signed an option for a previous contract with Sudan last year and the rest are ongoing deliveries under contracts signed by the previous team.” 

In the past, the United States has complained about Ukraine’s feckless dealings with failed states and militaristic regimes.  According to a report on WikiLeaks, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Vann Van Diepen confronted Ukraine officials at a non-proliferation conference in Kiev with “clear satellite imagery of T-72 tanks unloaded in Kenya, transferred to rail yards for onward shipment, and finally in South Sudan,” the cables reported. “This led to a commotion on the Ukrainian side.”

Additionally, Secretary Vann Van Diepen also voiced complaints about the possible sale of ballistic missile parts to Iran.

Although much of what Ukraine sells is soviet-era weaponry, it is still one of the world’s forerunners in arms exportation.

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