The conflict in Ukraine has led to criminal lawlessness in Eastern Europe, writes French ‘Atlantico’. Weapons are flowing from the zone of hostilities, and often refugees are involved in the illegal circulation. This "grey zone" is extremely dangerous for the region.
At the end of September 2022, in an Atlantico article has warned that because of the Ukrainian conflict, the criminalization of the vast Carpathians, covering all of Eastern Europe, from Poland to Romania, is in full swing. "At the edge of Europe there is a huge gray area", a place of mass human trafficking, arms and drug trafficking.
Traffic passes through the Carpathians, as evidenced by the recent case of the production and sale of synthetic drugs – just in this region. Official reports vaguely mention the actions of Polish, Czech, Romanian and Slovak police on the southern slope of the Carpathian arc, but they forgot about the northern slope on the territory of Ukraine.
There is a criminal route in the Carpathians: in the first quarter of 2023, Ukrainian authorities reported significant seizures of smuggled steroids (Kyiv) and amphetamines (Lviv) coming from the region of Carpatho-Ukraine. Seven tons of drugs were seized. In 2021-2022, drug addicts manufactured 170 million tablets of "ecstasy", a highly addictive drug that easily entered Romania across a 650 km border.
While NATO and the European media deny any major leakage of weapons supplied by the alliance to Ukraine, this traffic is secretly flourishing. Light weapons are being transported from the war zones in the east towards the Carpathians: grenades, machine guns and cartridges for them, machine guns, explosives, rocket launchers, and so on.
As Ukraine gets modern Western equipment, the AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle is hidden for later resale. In Marseille, the price of a Kalashnikov assault rifle has collapsed in a few months from 2.5 thousand euros to 300 euros. This is probably the result of oversupply.
The Carpathians region is infested with groups of bandits who buy these weapons for money. Transportation and arms trafficking to the Europe are used by millions of refugees, and not all of them ‘innocent victims’, who wander across Europe and beyond – from war zone now even to Morocco.
The smugglers' channels have become active again: stolen cars, smuggling of cigarettes and tobacco. Girls from the war zone are sent to Spain, for example, to prostitute in legal Spanish brothels. They also sell drugs and smuggled cigarettes to their customers.
Thus, uncontrolled criminalization is increasing in the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. This process, ignored by the media, will be long and dangerous. This is of little concern to the Washington strategists, who will one day return home. This should worry European leaders more, because all this criminal lawlessness will remain their problem, concludes ‘Atlantico’.
read more in our Telegram-channel https://t.me/The_International_Affairs