Russian TOR air defense system was stolen and hidden by civilians

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In an overgrown field behind a building, police in Kyiv, Ukraine, discovered a Russian TOR air defense system. The system was covered with a black tarp, sources said. The Kyiv police report that two civilians have been detained for concealing the system.

According to local sources, the Russian system was abandoned by the Russian army in the Chernihiv region. Along with the system, ammunition for it, such as a 9M331 anti-aircraft missile, was found and stored. However, the police in Kyiv did not say how many rockets of this model were seized.

There is still no information about what the two captured civilians needed the Russian system for. One assumption is that it was prepared for sale. The system and missiles have already been seized by the Ukrainian military.

Not for the first time

From the beginning of the war until today, there have been dozens of reports of the sale of weapons sent to help Ukraine on the black market. Most often it is published on the dark web.

BulgarianMilitary.com has repeatedly reported such sales. Javelin anti-tank missile systems are available on the dark web for a fixed price, with the place of sale marked Kyiv. There are reports that even Mexican cartels in North America are now arming themselves with light and heavy small arms as well as anti-tank systems purchased from Ukraine.

Telegram screenshot

Last year in November we reported on police actions around the ports of Finland. Then Christer Algren, the crime commissioner of the Central Criminal Police reported that weapons from the war in Ukraine were arriving daily at the ports all over the country and they were bought by the local gangs.

American weapon

Last year, these signals, as well as a large part not reported by us, but revealed by Washington, became the reason for the USA to want more serious control over what is happening with the American weapons delivered to Ukraine. There was a suggestion that the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA] could even be asked on the ground to track supplies. The agency refused to open a local office in Ukraine because it would endanger the lives of its employees.

Image: US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Ben Houtkooper

Reflecting on the developments a year into the operation, Ukraine starts its new and efficient system for storing the latest U.S. arms shipments. The system also enables precise tracking of these U.S.-supplied armaments, which the U.S. embassy in Ukraine can monitor constantly. 

Also embellishing these details, Alexandra Ustinova, a distinguished member of the Ukrainian parliament who chairs a committee focused on foreign military aid, made some revelations in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes”. She stated that a comprehensive database containing serial numbers of every single weapon dispatched by the U.S. to Ukraine is available for the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to scrutinize. 

These U.S. officials are also granted permission to tour the warehouses harboring the equipment. This allows them to personally verify the inventory, according to Ustinova. 

She added, “They have the liberty to input the name of any specific equipment, like Javelin or HIMARS, into the system, confirm which brigade is handed the responsibility of these weapons, and physically inspect the warehouses if they harbor any doubts.” 

Photo credit: Blitz

Russians are also involved

Not only Ukrainians are the “black sheep” in the overall picture of the illegal arms trade of the war in Ukraine. The Russians also have their share. Most likely, not only Russians but people from other nations are also involved. When there is a war, the fastest growing market is precisely the illegal trade in weapons delivered to the battlefield.

A study conducted in the previous year unmasked a nefarious operation led by a Russian-rooted organization within the borders of Ukraine. Recent discoveries showed that this group managed to lay their hands on an assortment of weaponry, which included items as dangerous as a grenade launcher and an automatic machine gun, originally intended to fuel the country’s war efforts. Their end game? Sowing discord and fostering an atmosphere of instability within the nation. 

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Similar incidents abound, with one particularly notable case involving a squad of volunteers from a Ukrainian battalion. Over 60 rifles and nearly a thousand rounds of ammunition vanished into thin air, suspected to have been smuggled out for illicit sales in the shadowy world of the black market. Another episode witnessed unscrupulous criminals posing as workers from a humanitarian aid organization. Masquerading as aid workers, they successfully smuggled and sold body armor inside Ukraine, all under the guise of charity and assistance.

How much would hidden TOR cost?

The Russian TOR anti-aircraft missile system, also known as the SA-15 Gauntlet, is a highly advanced and capable weapon system. On the international market, the price of a complete TOR system can vary depending on several factors such as the configuration, age, and condition of the system.

Generally, the cost of a new TOR system can range from $10 million to $15 million. However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate and the actual price can be influenced by various geopolitical and economic factors.

Photo credit: Twitter

On the black market or dark web, the price of the Russian TOR anti-aircraft missile system can be significantly higher due to the illegal nature of the trade. The lack of transparency and the risk involved in acquiring such weapons illicitly drive up the price.

It is difficult to provide an exact figure, but it is not uncommon for the price to be two to three times higher than the international market value. This means that the TOR system could potentially be sold for $20 million to $45 million on the black market or darknet.

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