OP. ARMIS ILLEGALIS – Taking control of Ukraine’s illegal armaments after the war

Preliminary plan

1. Due to the state of war in Ukraine, which has lasted for more than 8 years, there is an extremely large number of firearms and explosives outside the control of the Ukrainian government. These are called illegal armaments in this plan.

2. Illegal armament poses a great danger to Ukraine’s internal security. The danger increases when peace or a cease-fire will be signed. Illegal armaments also have an exchange value, which attracts those who possess the armaments to sell it in the illegal trade, which in turn causes great danger to the internal security of other states, first and most neighborhoods, and the EU.

3. In order to combat the danger caused by illegal armament, an action plan must be prepared that can be approved by the government of Ukraine and the EU and member states. The action program must have the political approval of all the above-mentioned parties and it must be able to be implemented immediately after the decision is made to take possession of illegal weapons.

4. The action program must include models for achieving the following below-mentioned alternative or hybrid goals derived from them, by which illegal armaments are brought under the control of the state leadership and either

  • be disposed of immediately at collection points
  • collected in large central warehouses to be sorted and used later
  • sorted at the collection points, keeping only the part suitable for the national defense of Ukraine

5. The action program must take into account the known and suspected risks of its implementation. These risks include e.g.

  • information and media
  • legal requirements (changes in national laws necessary for collection)
  • adequate influence and media campaigns aimed at those in possession of the armaments
  • the possibility of crimes against the collection (robbery of material, theft, fraud, etc.)
  • prevention of illegal transfer of collected weapons
  • possibilities of damage (damage shots, explosions)
  • physical protection of collection sites
  • compensations to be paid for collection (how much per unit, to whom, and how)
  • time spent on collection
  • the organization to be built for the collection and the various authorities and actors participating in it
  • training the participants in the collection
  • solving the financing

6. The collection of illegal weapons is particularly prone to two factors. First, citizens do not voluntarily want to hand over their weapons or hide them. Secondly, the collection enables various financial cases of abuse. Willingness to surrender is promoted using “the carrot and stick principle”. The starting point is the short duration of the collection, 10-15 days at most. A positive factor for the possessor is the compensation given for the weapon to be handed over, which SHOULD NOT be paid in money but only later as a financial benefit to the donor. The amount of compensation must be comparable to the price paid in an illegal trade. A favorable factor for the possessor is the sufficient tightening of penal legislation. The key factor is that the use of illegal weapons as a means of exchange is made disadvantageous for the possessor.

7. Based on the above, it can be concluded that at least the Ukrainian Defence Forces and the police should participate in the collection of illegal armaments, in accordance with their respective operational sectors.

8. In addition, the representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as actors from the EU and possibly member states, must participate in the planning of the collection.

9. There must be enough functioning and safe collection points for the operation in Ukraine, and sufficiently safe facilities must be planned, reserved, and prepared for them, which can be put into use before the operation starts.

10. The key aspect for the success of the operation will be its overall funding, which must have strong political support and vision to obtain it in sufficient time.

11. As a result of the above, and because it is a difficult, complex, and multinational operation, the planning of which has many different options and factors to be taken into account, both national and national interests of political decision-makers, authorities, and actors, it is necessary to start the preparation as soon as possible.

In Savonlinna, Finland
on September 23, 2022
Reima Pensala
C.E.O – Pax Auctor Oy