Ukrainian police reports on the number of weapons stolen by radicals in Lviv
KIEV, March 14 (RAPSI) – Firearms, munitions and over a dozen rocket grenade launchers have been stolen from the Interior Troops’ depots in the Lviv Region, a source at the Ukrainian Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti.
“Reports to [Acting Interior Minister Arsen] Avakov indicate that over 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 2,741 Makarov guns, 123 light machineguns and 12 Shmel rocket flamethrowers were stolen from the Interior Troops’ depots in the Lviv Region in late February,” the source said. “The investigation has also established that 1,500 F-1 hand grenades and a large number of munitions (bullets) are missing.”
According to previous reports, the radicals who seized district militia stations and Interior Troops units in the Lviv Region stole some 1,200 firearms, more precisely about 1,000 Makarov guns, over 170 Kalashnikov rifles and machineguns and sniper rifles, in late February.
Some of these weapons could surface in the socio-politically unstable regions of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, notably Romania, Albania, Transnistria and the Balkans, said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Russian Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST).
On February 22, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada impeached Viktor Yanukovich and amended the constitution. Presidential authority was assigned to parliament speaker Olexandr Turchynov and a presidential election was scheduled for May 25.
Russia has denounced the events in Ukraine as an armed coup. President Vladimir Putin said during a news conference in March that Yanukovych remains Ukraine’s legitimate president.
Yanukovich said earlier at a news conference that he fled Ukraine over fear for his life.
Crimea, a peninsula of some 2 million people, has resisted the authority of the “interim government” that came to power in Kiev last month. Crimea’s Supreme Council on Tuesday adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine.
Crimea will be declared an independent state with a republican form of government if its population votes to join the Russian Federation in a March 16 referendum.