Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence has claimed that weapons manufactured by the United States and Western countries, which according to several reports have been used by armed detachments of the Palestinian radical group Hamas in battles against Israel in recent days, were handed over to Hamas by Russia.
A statement from the MDI claimed that the weapons were seized by Russian troops in battles in Ukraine, and that handing them over to Hamas was a “large-scale provocation against Ukraine”. “The next step, according to the Russians’ plan, should be fake accusations by the Ukrainian military of allegedly selling Western weapons to terrorists on a regular basis”, the statement said.
The MDI statement did not say what kind of weapons we are talking about. Resources close to Hamas published a video of the group’s fighters carrying weapons similar to American M4 assault rifles.
The MDI also said in a statement that Russia could use statements by a defector, former Ukrainian border guard officer Ruslan Syrovyy, in its propaganda battle. On Monday, Russian Telegram channels are indeed circulating a video of Syrovyy saying he had been working for the Russian security services since 2014. “Thanks to Syrovyy, it was possible to carry out precise artillery and air strikes on AFU facilities”, writes the Russian telegram channel Unofficial Bezsonov. There is, however, no mention of allegedly supplying weapons to Hamas in this regard.
Dmitrii Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, wrote in his characteristic style on Telegram after the GUR statement that the weapons transferred to Ukraine by Western countries are “actively used in Israel”. He did not say by whom the weapons were being used (in a tweet in English, however, he wrote that they were being used “against Israel”), nor did he provide any evidence.
Hamas is supplied with weapons primarily by Iran and various pro-Iranian groups that support it. There have been no previous reports of possible arms supplies from Russia to the group. In the United States and the European Union, the group is included in the list of terrorist groups, which excludes the possibility of any arms supplies from these countries.
A number of US politicians, mainly supporters of Donald Trump, who are opposed to helping Ukraine, have suggested that the weapons supplied to Ukraine earlier could have fallen into the hands of Hamas. The US administration has previously stated that there is no evidence that the weapons supplied to Ukraine ended up outside the country (unless you count those captured by the Russians in the fighting).
Europol earlier reported about the alleged sale of weapons from Ukraine on the black market in the EU countries and about the increased risk of their falling into the hands of organized criminal groups or terrorists. At the same time, the organization stressed that it had no evidence that this had actually happened.