Serbian arms trafficked to Ukraine: evidence of contraband mortars used against Donbass

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This Serbian mortar shell 60 mm M73 HE manufactured by the Serbian arms factory Krusik in 2016 was found on the front line in Donbass. Photo: DNR Ministry of Defense, 9 November 2019

New evidence has emerged of Ukraine’s Army using contraband Serbian weapons in the war in Donbass. Serbia officially has not exported weapons to Ukraine since the beginning of the armed conflict between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). However, Serbian weapons manufactured in 2016 appear to be used by Ukraine’s Army in the war in Donbass.

This 60 mm Serbian mortar shell M73 HE KV lot 02/16 was found by DNR soldiers in Donbass, according to photos published by the DNR Ministry of Defense on 9 November 2019. The mortar shell was fired by the Ukrainian Army but did not explode.

This 60 mm Serbian mortar shell M73 HE KV lot 02/16 was found by DNR soldiers in Donbass, according to photos published by the DNR Ministry of Defense on 9 November 2019. The mortar shell was fired by the Ukrainian Army but did not explode. Photos: DNR Ministry of Defense

This is not the first documented case of alleged Serbian mortar shells being fired by the Ukrainian Army.

In his first comment Serbian president Alexander Vucic denied that Serbia knew about Serbian weapons being exported to Ukraine. According to Vucic, this particular lot of weapons (15,000 pcs.) was sold by Krusik to the private Serbian company Tehnoremont which exported the weapons to the Polish company Natan via Cyprus. However, Ukraine was not indicated as the end user of these Serbian weapons.

Leaked documents from Krusik though, prove that Vucic lies and Serbia knew that the Krusik weapons were destined for Ukraine.

This leaked document shows that Krusik negotiated the arms sales directly with “a partner from Ukraine”. Source: Marinka Tepic

The company involved which purchased the Serbian weapons, Petralink, with a registration in Cyprus, is owned by the son of the former director of the Ukrainian intelligence gen. Vladimir Petenko, who was convicted of arms trafficking, according to documents published by Marinka Tepic, member of the Serbian Parliament. On papers, Petralink exported the weapons to the Polish company Natan (30,000 pcs. of 60 mm mortar shells) in 2016 and according to the end user certificate it would not re-export the weapons to a third party without the written consent of the Serbian government. However, the weapons were re-diverted to Ukraine, not to Poland.

In his second comment after got caught lying, Serbian president confirmed the presence of Ukrainians in the deal but in his words “Serbia warned them not to re-export to Ukraine”. Furthermore, Vucic called Arms Watch “spy sewage system” for exposing the arms trafficking of Serbian weapons to Ukraine. So did the ruling Serbian Party whose president is Alexander Vucic.

The scandal with Serbian arms being trafficked to war zones broke in September after Arms Watch published an investigation into who arms ISIS terrorists in Yemen. Documents published by Arms Watch reveal that Serbian weapons manufactured by Krusik and sold to Saudi Arabia had ended up with Islamic State terrorists in Yemen.  Three days after Arms Watch broke the story, on 18 September, Serbian prosecutors arrested the Krusik whistleblower Alexander Obradovich.

Instead of investigating the arms trafficking to terrorists in Yemen, the Serbian prosecutors launched an investigation into the leak from Krusik and charged the whistleblower with revealing trade secrets. His arrest caused a wave of protests in Serbia and he was released from prison under house arrest. Yet Alexander Obradovich is under arrest while those who traffic arms go free. The full 3-part investigation into who arms terrorists you can read here:

Islamic State weapons in Yemen traced back to US Government: Serbia files (part 1)

US Task Force Smoking Gun smuggles weapons to Syria: Serbia files (part 2)

Leaked arms dealers’ passports reveal who supplies terrorists in Yemen: Serbia files (Part 3)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Dilyana,

    Once again, you bring me back faith in journalism. Great text with facts and sources. Only one thing i would like to ask:”Since this is a rival company of the GIM, which had the father of Serbia Minister of internal affairs as their high ranking employee(who left the company along with the co-founder two days ago), is it possible that coming out in public with this they want to discredit CPR Impex?”

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