A Ukrainian serviceman checks documents at a checkpoint near Slaviansk in Donetsk region, Ukraine, June 29, 2016. Picture taken June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
On Feb. 12 last year, the same day that a ceasefire ended the worst of the fighting in eastern Ukraine between rebels and government forces, a former rebel fighter seized a chance to turn his inside knowledge of the conflict into hard cash.
He traveled to a spot on the Russian-Ukrainian border where he retrieved a cache of weapons hidden there earlier by his comrades in the pro-Russian rebel movement.
Four days later, shortly before 6:00 p.m., he and a friend showed up in a taxi at a fuel station in western Russia where they had arranged to meet a contact ready to buy the arms, according to Russian court documents.
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WNU Editor: All of my family members, friends, associates, etc. ....in short .... everyone that I know in Ukraine .... they are now all armed to the teeth for their "personal protection". Am I surprised about this flourishing arms trade ... no. The black market arms trade has a long history in Ukraine .... I am just grateful that the U.S. and Russia removed the old Soviet nuclear weapons from Ukraine years ago .... otherwise we will be seeing one or two of those popping up in the arms black market today.