Skip to comments.Ukrainians Want to Arm Themselves to the Teeth
Posted on 03/07/2014 4:40:24 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
As the crisis continues, both demand and prices for weapons have gone up. We speak to their version of the NRA
Can you imagine snipers shooting people in Times Square? You must imagine that to understand how we feel.
Thats the hypothetical posed to us by George Uchaykin, the 44-year-old head of the Ukrainian Gun Owners Association. Given the current political chaos in Ukraine and the events leading up to it, Uchaykin and his cohorts are pushing for new laws on gun control that would allow citizens to carry handguns to defend themselves.
This is our main square, where it all happened, Uchaykin says, referring to Kievs Independence Square, where riot police snipers shot and killed protesters in February. We couldnt imagine this in the 21st century. We werent ready for this.
Most Ukrainians were caught completely off guard by the state-sponsored brutality. The new interior minister has issued an arrest warrant for ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and his colleagues for mass murder. But in a darker side effect, civilians are now stocking up on firepower. In the past month, sales of firearmsboth legal and illegalhave skyrocketed in the country.
According to Uchaykin, pump-action shotguns and AK-47 ammunition are completely sold out in Kiev. People understand that they can only count on themselves and that is why they try to buy as many firearms and ammunition as they can, he says, speaking to me via Skype video with the help of a translator. He was wearing a black shirt with a picture of a pistol that read (in Ukrainian), Free men own guns. Slaves dont.
The Ukrainian Gun Owners Association, now 5 years old, is taking advantage of the current political climates uncertainty to push forward legislation that would amend the countrys Constitution to include something like Americas Second Amendment and expand existing gun laws to allow concealed carry of handguns.
Gun laws now in Ukraine are restrictive: Handguns are completely banned for the average citizen; only law enforcement and journalists can purchase certain handguns with a license. Licenses to own rifles and shotguns may also be obtained with good reason, like target shooting or hunting. From The New York Times Gun Report:
The government is in possession of more than seven million guns, while three million weapons, both legal and illicit, are in the hands of private citizens, creating a staggering gulf in firepower. By comparison, in the United States, there are 310 million guns in private hands, with only 3.85 million possessed by the military and police forces.
On the Hunters and Gun Lovers Ukrainian web forum, we found a post asking why gun prices have spiked recently. Commenters speculate that its related to currency inflation and the new huge demand created by political upheaval. A longtime forum user named Frost writes, Three months ago, I was trying to sell my shotgun. Got very few phone calls. Today the phone calls dont stop, but I dont sell it anymore!
Frosts post encouraged us to look for active gun markets onlinethere are a few, including smaller gun markets on Vkontakte, the Russian Facebook. Gun Forums of Ukraine has 1,238 members, and there are myriad ads from people trying to sell their guns, from pistols to AK-47s to sniper rifles. Many are publicly listed as unregistered, and some even display them for sale on YouTube.
HOW WE KNOW
We searched gun-owner forums in Ukrainian and Russian and came across reports of a spike in prices, so we decided to dig in.
We pulled data from the last month and found that of all the weapons being sold on the ss.ua website, the most common listings were for shotguns and sniper rifles (75 percent), followed by pistols and handguns (19 percent), and then assault rifles (6 percent). The data is calculated from 1,000-plus weapons ads.
HOW WE KNOW
We gathered more than 1,200 ads from Feb. 11 through March 6, 2014, and eliminated ads for accessories or something other than weapons. Then we grouped the weapon types together based on their various names in Ukrainian, Russian and English.
The most popular weapon by far is the MP-27 hunting rifle, which accounts for 26 percent of all guns listed. The average price for an MP-27 is 3,965 Ukrainian hryvnia (about $438). The most popular pistol is the Stalker (average price 1,345 hryvnia /$147) and the most popular assault rifle are the Saiga-12 and 410 (average 4376 hryvnia/$480).
The Ministry of Internal Affairs basically has a blank check to enforce whatever gun laws they feel are appropriate at any given moment. We dont have firearm legislation, everything is regulated by the Ministry which can change the rules at any times, explains Andrey Kuznetsov, another member of the Ukrainian Gun Owners group. For example, one day we woke up and found out that 30-round magazines and shotgun magazine extensions are no longer legal.
The government recently announced an amnesty campaign from March 4 to 21 for Ukrainians to turn in their illegal weapons. But Uchaykin isnt holding his breath.
So we think that this initiative [from the Interior Ministry] wont be successful. And if we dont have our steps [on the political agenda] approved, one day they will take them by force, he says. Our country will be doomed.
Now we have situation where we have internal threats from the regime [government in Ukraine], and also we have huge problems with a possible invasion from Russia, Uchaykin says, also mentioning a high level of street crime.
The Gun Owners Association website is peppered with quotes about liberty and freedom, echoing the U.S.-based NR. For their part, the American organization has jumped into the news cycle to capitalize on Ukraines restrictive gun laws. For American gun lobbyists who have cited easy access to firearms as an insurance policy against government oppression, the turmoil in Kiev is a perfect talking point, writes Scott Bixby.
Uchaykin is also appealing to U.S. manufacturers who export arms to Ukraine. He says local businesses that sell arms arent friendly to their cause, but have close relations with the police.
This is what we have here now: I own an AK-47 but I cannot own a handgun, Uchaykin said. This was done to make a monopoly so that only the Ministry of Internal Affairs can provide security services, but no one can protect can himself.
As for their own funding, they accept donations and sell membership packages which start at 300 hryvnia for a basic package (about $32), and go up to a five-year package for 2,500 hryvnia, or about $273. Uchaykin says membership has dramatically increased over the last few months. The Euromaidan protests began in November 2013, and intensified in December and January when the government attempted to violently suppress the demonstrations. Hundreds were shot in February.
I asked about the spike in prices and how Ukrainians can afford to arm themselves in the status quo. (Side note: If you have 5 million U.S. dollars, you can buy a Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, a strategic bombing and missile platform, listed on eBay as located in Ukraine.)
If people in Ukraine can afford to buy a car, they can afford to buy a firearm, Uchaykin says. Because now they understand that firearms are more important than cars.
As for that external threat from Russia, Uchaykin says: Russia is always ready to attack and has very big military potential. We only can say we have very good traditions of resistance. Ukraine can stop Russia for some time, but their forces are much bigger and much stronger than Ukraines.
We will have to change a lot of things. We are starting from scratch, writing our own history, and today we can prevent our country from being divided into many parts. We want America to understand that in the center of Europe, in the 21st century, a country of 45 million people is fighting for its future.
Most Ukrainians were caught completely off guard by the state-sponsored brutality.
As an American who loves my counrty, I was unprepared for the brutality shown to the Branch Davidians at Waco. And am frequently reminded that nobody in government has really been held responsible.
Meanwhile, the UN and other lefty orginizations are working hard to prevent the trasnfer of small arms to people in need of them, like the Ukranians.
“government is in possession of more than seven million guns”
5 million are Mosin Nagants left over from WW2.
(and they need to send them to me!}
What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
100:1 sounds about right. Maybe a little light on the civilian side but we're working on it.
Government snipers don't have to worry about counter-sniper fire. Until they do. And a deer rifle will suffice for that. BTT
Still they do not ‘identity’ who it is in the streets creating Chaos....am waiting for someone to tell it like it is....how about checking with the oligarchs the New Gov. put into city governing positions who have their own militia's creating chaos!
If the New Gov. can create enough chaos they can force further intervention (military) (and revenues) from Europe/Nato and the U.S. Next we'll be seeing body bags and crying mothers as we did in Egypt, Libya, Syria...demanding the US DO Something!
We can name this tune in one note!
The MP-27 is an o/u double barrel shotgun.
I did find this though, in trying to come up with
a match, read about halfway down to the conjecture
that the USMC is buying these as SAW replacements
just to get around congressional restrictions
on individual weapon replacement.
I hadn’t heard about this.
M27 IAR Infantry Automatic Rifle, as made by HK USA for US Marine Corps
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 838 - 937 mm / 33” - 36.9”
Barrel length: 420 mm / 16.5”
Weight: 3.6 kg / 7.9 lbs empty
Rate of fire: rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds standard
The IAR - Infantry Automatic Rifle program was originally initiated by US Marine Corps (USMC) in an apparent intent to replace aging M249 SAW light machine guns in their “automatic rifle” (squad automatic) role. USMC sought lighter and more maneuverable weapon, still capable of at least some sustained firepower. Original contenders included guns from FN, Colt and Heckler-Koch, as well as some other, lesser known names. After extensive trials in 2009 USMC finally selected the HK IAR rifle, which, in fact, is no more that heavy-barreled version of their HK 416 automatic carbine (assault rifle), and it hardly looks like adequate replacement for a dedicated squad automatic weapon with belt feed and quick-change barrel. By all accounts, it looks like USMC played the whole IAR trick to get the replacement for their M4 carbines without entering the political hassle and budgetary debates. In May 2010 the USMC representative officially anounced the adoption of the Heckler-Koch IAR as M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle”. It is not clear when HK will begin delivery of the M27 rifles, and how much rifles will be delivered to USMC.
The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle is a gas-operated weapon which is based on the HK 416 assault rifle. It uses short-stroke gas piston that operates the 7-lug rotating bolt, and fires from closed bolt. Receiver is made from high grade aluminum alloy. Combination-type safety / fire selector allows for single shots and full automatic mode. M27 IAR retains all M16-style controls, including last round bolt hold-open device, rear-based charging handle and magazine release button on the right side of the magazine well. M27 IAR is fitted with four Picatinny rails as standard, and may accept any type of sighting devices on STANAG-1913 compliant mounts. Buttstock is of typical M4 design, multi-position telescoped. M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle can feed from standard M16-type 30 round magazines, and will also accept high-capacity double-drum magazines from Beta Co (100 rounds capacity) and Armatac (150 rounds capacity).
At no point in history has any government ever wanted its people to be defenseless for any good reason
~ nully’s son
Ukraine right now is a textbook case of why 3D printed guns are a positive thing. Print up a militia in a hurry, even behind enemy lines.
I’m sorry, I clipped this from
and didn’t think about the copyright, perhaps
it should be pulled.
If I could send over a few crates of M1 Garands and M1 Carbines (plus M1911A1 .45s), I’d do it.
Ok, I just checked, it’s all from open sources.
I’m not sure the technology is quite there yet but but it’s on its way for sure. I believe the Ukranians should be armed and prepared to defend themselves against tyranny as should everyone. I would not want to see them fall into a civil war however and it seems like that’s a real possibility.
Andrew Cuomo would like to psychotically scream at you...
"no one needs 5 million Mosin Nagants to shoot a deaaaaahhhhhhh!"
I think they do mean “MP27” here. When you visit that ss.ua site you have the option of translating the page and there are some of these o/u shotguns which are actually listed as 12 gauge “rifles.”
I don’t know if that’s a translation thing or what, maybe, but it’s also pretty clear the author doesn’t know very much about firearms or they’d have picked that up right away.
Take back the color blue.
FUN (F* the UN)
Now there’s gonna be a shortage of 7.62 x 54r and 7.62 x 39.
The Saiga-12 and 410 are not exactly assault rifles.
An interesting number,
>>”By comparison, in the United States, there are 310 million guns in private hands, with only 3.85 million possessed by the military and police forces.”<<
And yet, it was the Ukrainians who overthrew a corrupt oligarch, while Americans only issue empty threats about future use of those arms on Internet forums and continue happily shopping at Wal-Mart.
I can understand very well. The poor officers so targeted would have a tough job in the face of such well armed and capable citizenry.
Travis, you’re a year too late.
They should join the NRA.
Вільні люди мати зброю. Раби не роблять. (h/t Google Translate)
Guns are what is needed to tell the government ‘F You’. All men (and ladies and tgs. :-). ) should have the rights to have guns.
Death to all misplaced apostrophes!!