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US struggling to track weapons supplied to Ukraine: Report

US-made Javelin missile on the frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine. (File photo)

The United States has managed to conduct in-person inspections for only about 10 percent of the weapons it provided for Ukraine, weapons that require special oversight amid the conflict in the country, a report says.

Citing US officials, The Washington Post reported that US officials have been able to conduct just two in-person inspections of the 22,000 US-provided weapons sent to Ukraine, since the conflict with Russia began in late February.

Officials told the Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that they can only hope to achieve a “reasonable” level of compliance with US oversight rules.

“The conflict creates an imperfect condition for us to have to adjust quickly,” a senior State Department official said.

“We want to put some of those resources to working with our allies and partners to mitigate risk, however, wherever we can,” the official added.

The US-provided weapons systems – including Stinger and Javelin missiles – need to be tracked once they enter Ukraine, the report said.

Without the verification, the US is relying on Ukraine to scan arms packages and send a record of their serial numbers to Washington.

For smaller items such as rifles and body armor, a single American official in Poland signs off on all transfers to Ukraine.

Larger weapons systems, such as HIMARS rocket artillery platforms (The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) and M777 howitzers, are not subject to inspections.

US authorities have acknowledged that when the war erupted in Ukraine, they had no blueprint for tracking weapons in Ukraine.

The report came a day after the Pentagon said it was sending weapons experts to Ukraine to inspect US-provided arms in the country.

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder declared on Tuesday that inspections had been “in development for a while,” but did not unveil how many weapons experts were dispatched to Ukraine.

The US and its Western allies continue to supply Kiev with deadly weapons despite Russia's repeated warnings against exacerbating the Ukraine conflict.

Washington has so far committed nearly $20 billion in military assistance to Kiev since January 2021, including rocket and air defense systems.

CNN cited an intelligence source in a report in April that these weapons disappear “into a big black hole” once they enter Ukraine.

And in August, a report by CBS News said that “like 30% of [military aid to Ukraine] reaches its final destination.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that “powerful weapons, including portable air defense systems and precision weapons,” are being smuggled out of Ukraine and onto the black market.

Up to $1 billion worth of arms are funneled from Ukraine to criminals, terrorists and extremists every month, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova.

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