On February 24, 2022, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. Since then, arms trade has flourished on the Internet, especially in channels on the Telegram platform. But the West doesn’t just supply Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops – Western weapons are also very popular in Russia. As the website rectiv.org has now researched, pistols from the Austrian manufacturer Glock are particularly popular among Putin’s troops.
Many of these weapons, as can also be seen on social networks, do not remain in Russia, but are used in the war in Ukraine. The data published by the network is quite impressive: since the beginning of the war, Russia has imported 7,300 firearms – including more than a hundred sniper rifles – and about eight million rounds of ammunition that come from Western manufacturers. The most prominent representative is the local company Glock.
Import data shows that 2,580 Glock pistols have been imported since the beginning of the war. At least one of them probably ended up with former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. He was photographed with an AR-15 rifle and a Glock pistol in Donetsk last October. And according to media reports, in July this year a Glock pistol, among other things, was seized at the villa of the now deceased head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
How can all this be reconciled with the restrictions? Corrective’s journalists, who conducted the research together with colleagues in Russia, write: Austria’s Glock – the company whose pistols are used by Russian officials – does not respond to numerous inquiries. Even the Austrian company Steyr Arms cannot do anything to clear the way for weapons. It will simply say: “We are committed to data protection and generally do not pass on any of our customers’ data to third parties.”