Arquebus CEO Warns of Weapon Diversion Risk in Ukraine Conflict

Arquebus’ Paul James, a renowned expert investigator of firearms crime, recently spoke to BBC news about the risks associated with the diversion of Ukraine conflict firearms.

One of the major international security implications arising from the conflict in Ukraine is how to manage the long-term threat posed by the huge numbers of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) that are being distributed to the military and civilian population to confront the Russian threat. In the interview, Paul James discusses the risks, drawing upon his experience tackling firearms criminality in the Western Balkans alongside UNDP SEESAC, making a call to action for a proactive security response to the crisis.

In May 2022, INTERPOL Head Jurgen Stock stated that “once the guns fall silent (in Ukraine) the illegal weapons will come. We can expect an influx of weapons in Europe and beyond. We should be alarmed, and we have to expect these weapons to be trafficked not only to neighbouring countries but to other continents”.

Ukraine’s approach to the widespread distribution of firearms to the civilian population undoubtedly constitutes a legitimate military tactic at a time of war when the very future of the country is at stake, but it mirrors the situation that occurred during the conflict in the Western Balkans during the 1990s which resulted in millions of unregistered firearms remaining in circulation once the conflict ended.

According to General Vyhosky, it is necessary for the Ukraine authorities to “create a unified register of weapons and streamline the issue of legalisation of weapons”. He also commented on the need to risk assess the psychological readiness of the civilian population to have firearms for their own protection as part of a licensing programme.

To watch the full interview, please visit our LinkedIn page.

Recent News

NSCS 5: National Firearms Focal Points

The misuse of SALW represents a significant threat to public safety, requiring the state to effectively leverage its resources to level the playing field against criminals operating in an ever-evolving security environment.For this month's article, Arquebus talks to Lorenzo Benedet, Major in the Spanish Guardia Civil and head of the Spanish NFFP to discuss the role that NFFPs play in combatting SALW criminality as part of a national SALW control strategy (NSCS)...

NSCS 4: Ballistics Forensics

Using ballistics forensics, investigators can obtain a wealth of information on the criminal misuse of small arms, light weapons, and their ancillaries (SALW). Arquebus is delighted to discuss the importance of ballistics forensics and the role it can play in a national SALW control strategy with our very own experts on ballistics, Glenn Lawrence and Dr Joanne Short...

NSCS 3: State SALW Lifecycle Management

The diversion of small arms, light weapons, and their ancillaries (SALW) from state stockpiles is a core contributary to illicit arms proliferation across the globe. The lifecycle management of state-owned SALW helps deter, deny, and detect such diversion, and represents an essential building block of a national SALW control strategy...

NSCS 2: LICENSING & REGISTRATION

Of the 1 billion firearms and their ancillaries in circulation today, the vast majority, 85%, are estimated to be in the hands of private individuals according to Amnesty International’s research...

NATIONAL SALW CONTROL STRATEGIES: A SERIES

Ensuring human security hinges on the proper control of small arms and light weapons (SALW). Join our blog series for a comprehensive look at key references, resources, and practical insights.

Key Appointments Announcement: 2023

Arquebus continues to expand through key appointments across the team.

Project REGISYNC Published

,
The fight against illicit firearm proliferation and misuse in the EU and its partners is a multifaceted challenge, encompassing the diversion of arms from national stocks and actors...

Summer Research Update 2023

,
It’s been a busy summer for Arquebus’ research team. Experts in Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW) control have attended conferences hosted by the Romanian Police in Bucharest.

3D-printed Firearms & Myanmar: Implications for Conflict and Security

MSc Development and Security students from the University of Bristol's School of Politics and International Studies guest article on a the conflict and security implications of 3D-printed firearms.