Western weapons create a proliferation risk but are also used to target civilians when they reach the “right” people, he said.
Western military support for Kyiv has heightened the risk of weapons falling into the wrong hands, Daniel Kovalik, a professor of international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, told the court on Friday. United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
And even when these weapons are successfully delivered to Ukrainian forces, they are often used to bomb civilians in the Donbass, he added.
Speaking at a UNSC meeting to discuss Western arms shipments to Ukraine, Kovalik said the weapons were at risk of coming into the possession of unintentional users, including criminals.
However, “even when guns go to the right people, they don’t necessarily end up in the right place”, he said, noting that kyiv started bombing the Donbas republics as early as 2014.
The professor said he had just spent a week in the city of Donetsk and had witnessed Ukrainian attacks on civilian targets involving the use of Western weapons which apparently had been delivered “in good hands”.
The lawyer recalled that he saw with his own eyes how Kiev forces bombed a local school, a stadium and a site of water installations. “Of course, water is scarce in Donetsk”, he said, adding that the city’s water filtration system had been destroyed by Ukrainian forces.
Russia warns West of ‘consequences’ of arming Ukraine
He also referenced open sources, including reports from major US news outlets, that feared Western arms being shipped to Ukraine could create a spike in illicit arms trafficking. In particular, Kovalik referred to a CNN article from April 2022, which claimed that the United States had decided to take “a conscious risk” by arming Ukraine. The outlet cited US officials who had admitted that some of the weapons supplied by the West “may end up in the hands of other military personnel” which the United States had no intention of arming.
“It falls into a big black hole, and you have almost no idea after a short period of time,” a CNN source said at the time.
Kovalik also quoted Interpol chief Jurgen Stock, who warned in June that weapons sent to Ukraine should “being trafficked not only to neighboring countries, but to other continents”.
According to Kovalik, the issue merits international scrutiny. However, “the United States is not going to do this” he added, noting that Congress had rejected a resolution a few days ago calling for an audit of US aid to Ukraine.
“Who watches the guards? he asked, adding that this was the responsibility of the UNSC.
His remarks come as Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, warned the West against “consequences” to send weapons to Ukraine, which are then used to kill civilians in the Donbass.