Troopers pose with a Belgian-made FN SCAR assault rifle in Ukraine.
Photo: “Brussels Times”
The fighters aligned against Moscow who launched a cross-border raid from Ukraine into the Belgorod region of Russia last week used at least four tactical vehicles originally given to Ukraine by the United States and Poland, U.S. officials said, raising questions about the unintended use of NATO-provided equipment and Kyiv’s commitments to secure materiel supplied by its supporters.
Three of the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, also known as MRAPs, taken into Russia by the fighters were provided by the United States and the fourth was from Poland, according to people familiar with the U.S. intelligence finding, which has not previously been reported.
The fighters also carried rifles made by Belgium and the Czech Republic and at least one AT-4 antitank weapon in common use among U.S. and Western troops, according to photos verified by The Washington Post.
Western vehicles destroyed near Belgorod.
U.S. and Western officials have insisted that Ukraine carefully track the billions of dollars’ worth of weapons that have flowed into the country. Kyiv’s backers have also largely barred Ukrainian forces from using Western weapons and equipment for attacks on Russian soil.
Yet the recent raid into Russia underscores how materiel can change hands in unpredictable ways, creating oversight challenges that few in Washington and Kyiv appear willing to acknowledge.
At least two MRAPs appear to have been captured by Russian forces after the operation, according to imagery examined by The Post.
Border areas in Belgorod remained under attack from intense shelling, local officials said Friday, reporting at least two deaths. The wave of strikes in the region has been described by local Russian officials and journalists as the largest bombing of Russian territory since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Two apartment buildings caught fire in Shebekino, the Belgorod governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, wrote on Telegram, adding that at least 850 mortar shells had hit the region since June 1.
Belgium will ask Ukraine for clarification on reports that rifles made in Belgium had been used by pro-Ukrainian forces to fight Russian troops inside Russia's western border, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Monday. «We must not get ahead of ourselves here,» the prime minister said.
Belgium will ask Ukraine for clarification on reports that rifles made in Belgium had been used by pro-Ukrainian forces to fight Russian troops inside Russia's western border, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Monday.
The Washington Post on reported that anti-Kremlin fighters who launched a cross-border attack from Ukraine into the Russian Belgorod region last month used tactical vehicles originally given to Ukraine by the United States and Poland and carried rifles made in Belgium and the Czech Republic.
«Our defence ministry and its intelligence agencies have started an investigation and are asking for information to determine what has happened exactly,» De Croo said on Belgium's Radio 1.
«There are clear rules — our weapons, which are supplied to Ukraine, are intended exclusively for defense purposes on the territory of Ukraine. These rules apply to Belgian weapons and weapons of other European countries. We ask Ukrainians to clarify the situation,» De Croo said.
«European weapons are delivered to Ukraine under the condition that they are used on Ukrainian territory with the purpose of defending that territory. And we have strict controls in place to see that this is the case,» he said.
De Croo declined to comment on possible consequences if the reports were confirmed. «We must not get ahead of ourselves here,» the prime minister said. «But we are analysing the situation and we would take this very seriously.»
At the same time, the prime minister did not comment on the consequences for Ukraine if the use of such weapons in the Belgorod Region is confirmed. «First, let us try to establish the facts — do these weapons relate to the one that was transferred to Ukraine by Belgium for defense… I do not want to answer hypothetical questions yet, but there are clear rules for the use of Belgian weapons,» De Croo concluded.
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