June 6, 2018, Alexander Khristoforov
A number of information resources “disperse” a scandal about the supply of Syrian militants through the ports of Odessa and Nikolaev. To this “sensation” news there are a number of questions. Nevertheless, one must take it seriously: there is nothing impossible in the described scheme; moreover, it rhymes with the arrest of Boris Herman, whom the SBU (Ukrainian security service) calls “the customer of the murder of Babchenko”.
Decommunized (that is, renamed) to Olvia, the Nikolayev port of Oktyabrsk is the point of sending heavy weapons to the Middle East, in particular to Syria. This is the result of a joint investigation of journalists, some “public men” and a particularly conscious employee of the port in Nikolaev.
That is, Ukrainian officials are involved in illegal schemes of weapons of militants. At the same time, the customer is allegedly the American firm “Alaska Reefer Managment” from Seattle, Washington.
Some journalists learned that in the food containers for sending to Syria, Iraq and Lebanon from the port of Nikolaev were not sausages and ham, but rockets. “As soon as the information leaked to the press, international human rights organizations joined the issue, which together with journalists began to besiege the offices of officials under all the rules of military art,” the material says.
The authors of the investigation even apply certain overheads (without showing, however, the requisites and “caps”) and report on an “inflaming international scandal”: Washington-de supplies terrorist organizations through the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.
In reality there is no “international scandal”. However, simply “to laugh and forget” in this case is impossible, and that’s why.
Although the information resource in question has a dubious reputation, the investigation itself has a well-grounded basis. Back in 2013, the Washington Post published the results of a study of the non-governmental organization C4ADS, dedicated to the extensive supply chain of arms supplies to the government of Bashar Assad through the Black Sea ports of Ukraine and Russia. The edition especially notes that very closed offshore Oktyabrsk, which could be a “key fragment in the chain”.
The US press dubbed this logistics scheme the “Odessa network”, referring to dozens of ships that made flights between Oktyabrsky and the ports of Syria.
One of the decisive points of the evidence base was the systematic deactivation of the transponder of the marine automated information system, which allowed vessels to hide their movements from the AIS. Thus, a number of “suspicious balkers” were identified, among which, in 2016, the researchers highlighted the FINIKIA ship of the Syrian State Administration of Maritime Transport, which shuttled between Kerch, Novorossiysk and the Syrian port.
As a result, the Office for Control of Foreign Assets of the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the vessel.
The fact that the US categorically does not like the supply of Russian arms to the “forces of the dictator Bashar Assad” (in fact – to the legitimate government of Syria) is understandable and does not need additional explanations. In the context of our topic, the recognition by the US of the very fact of the existence of such an arms channel and, apparently, control over them from the ports of Odessa (from 2014 up to the present moment) is important.
In the fall of 2017, another, equally interesting scheme opened up, which actually caused an international scandal: two ships flying the flags of Denmark regularly flew from the Bulgarian port of Burgas to Saudi Jeddah with arms of the standard “non-NATO”.
“Amazingly,” the profits of the Bulgarian enterprise “Vazovsky Machine Building Plant” only for 2016 grew by 400%. It produces PKK, rockets for MLRS Grad, cartridges for various types of small arms of Soviet designs.
A year before the publication of these facts (that is, at the end of 2016), four thousand rounds for the Grad and three million cartridges for heavy machine guns were found in Aleppo, which, according to experts, the terrorists of the terrorist “Jebhat an Nusra” would be enough for two years of active hostilities.
The Bulgarian prosecutor’s office has already taken up the activities of this weapons factory.
Glasseous bloggers photographing passageways of ships across the Bosporus, examined on board Hanne Danica – one of the mentioned ships under the Danish flag – even BTRs (most likely, the modification of OT-64 SKOT, which were produced in the Warsaw Treaty countries). At the same time, Hanne Danica was chartered by the American “daughter” of the British company Chemring, which, according to the US state program, is engaged in purchasing non-standard NATO weapons.
The very British Chemring was previously at the center of scandals with the supply of poisonous substances to Syria and Egypt during the “Arab Spring”, and the container class in the photo from the Bosporus corresponded to the explosive load. The facts of their spread of OBs lead to thoughts and about the customers of the world-famous gas attack in Khan-Sheikhun.
It is obvious that in the very idea of arms deliveries to the countries of the Middle East from the Black Sea region, nothing is impossible. Specific schemes and beneficiaries of such transactions have already been opened.
And it is difficult to find objective reasons why the weapons for “Dzhebhat an Nusra” could only come from Bulgaria, but not from Odessa or Nikolaev, which since 2014 are under the control of the Pentagon.
Even not too convincing overheads, “merged” into the network accurately before the arrest of Boris Herman, the executive director of the Ukrainian-German joint venture “Schmeisser” (the only non-state enterprise in the country for the production of weapons), may turn out to be genuine. The blessings quite fit in the logic of the redistribution of the business of production and supply of arms in Ukraine and abroad.