Legitimate Concerns: Arms Supplies to Ukraine & Their Impact on International Peace and Security


Two years have passed since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February 2022, and the extent of its threat to international peace and security is becoming increasingly evident. The influx of weapons to the Ukrainian government during the war, particularly small and light weapons, raises concerns about the potential threat to global peace. The illegal transfer and diversion of these weapons to conflict zones and other areas of unrest worldwide, even after the cessation of armed hostilities, contribute to their falling into the hands of armed groups and terrorist movements. This, in turn, prolongs conflicts and leads to more severe human rights violations that could amount to crimes against humanity, posing a significant threat to human rights within communities.

These concerns are compounded by compelling evidence highlighting the difficulty in tracking and monitoring all American equipment supplied to Ukraine. Some weapons remain unaccounted for and have not reached the Ukrainian army. This indicates a problem in effectively monitoring military supplies intended to support the Ukrainian government optimally. Furthermore, numerous allegations, statements, and estimates suggest that certain military aid and weapons provided to Ukraine have been diverted to armed and terrorist groups in conflict zones, particularly in the Middle East and other hotspots in Africa. This is supported by the fact that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have foiled several attempts to smuggle weapons through the country. Naturally, it is impossible to prevent all smuggling attempts, not to mention the existence of corruption within the procurement process of weapons for the Ukrainian army involving certain military officials.

This legal paper addresses the issue of assessing the flow of weapons and military aid to the Ukrainian government in the context of the threat to international peace and security. It raises concerns about the risks associated with the illegal transfer of these weapons to other conflict zones worldwide, especially after the cessation of armed hostilities. It is noteworthy that Ukraine has become one of the largest illegal arms markets since the outbreak of the internal conflict in the east of the country in 2014. The aim of this paper is to alert the international community and countries providing military aid to Ukraine to the urgent need for proactive measures to prevent it from becoming a global hotspot for the illegal supply of weapons to armed and terrorist groups.

Controlling the flow of weapons into Ukraine should be viewed as a preventive measure, rather than a punitive one, and it should be a crucial step towards establishing international peace and security and promoting human rights. There must be clear and enforceable guarantees to ensure that weapons are not unlawfully distributed among civilians within Ukraine or smuggled to other regions of the world, whether during the ongoing conflict or after reaching a political settlement and its eventual resolution.


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