OSCE Support Ukraine Border Guards Training in Combatting Illegal Movement of Weapon and Munitions

An online training for representatives of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine on combating the illegal movement of weapons, ammunition and explosives via the state border was held as part of the OSCE project “Support to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives”. International experts from Germany, Lithuania and Estonia, representatives of international organizations, including Europol and the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, as well as leading national experts shared their experiences.

The illicit trafficking of weapons, ammunition and explosives across the state border remains one of the greatest challenges to national and regional security. Detection and prevention of movement of dangerous substances is one of the priority areas of border guards. According to the results of 11 months of the current year, the State Border Guard Service records an increase in the number of seized weapons and ammunition. Therefore, the constant deepening of knowledge and skills of border guards in this area remains relevant. The OSCE, within the framework of the Border Guard Support Project, is making efforts to train relevant specialists of the State Border Guard Service through basic trainings in the field of protection of borders from illegal movement of dangerous substances. The trainings are developed taking into account the latest trends and the current state of affairs both globally and regionally, namely on the border of Ukraine and other EU countries.

This event was the second in a series of trainings in this area, planned under the Project. It was attended by 25 border guards from different regions, including 6 women. The training program provided preliminary acquaintance of participants with information materials, as well as 3 days of direct training in online format. The border guards had the opportunity to listen to lectures accompanied by questions and discussions, as well as to consolidate the acquired knowledge and skills while working in small study groups. The training covered the best standards, procedures and practices used by the OSCE and EU countries to combat the illegal movement of dangerous substances. The participants trained in risk analysis of potential illicit movement of weapons, ammunition and explosives; considered psychological aspects and peculiarities of offenders’ behavior; got acquainted with the methods used by offenders to disguise dangerous substances in order to further their illegal movement across the state border; deepened knowledge on the use of dog handlers with service dogs in the context of combating the illegal movement of dangerous substances.

International experts from Germany, Lithuania and Estonia, representatives of international organizations, including Europol and the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, as well as leading national experts shared their experience and knowledge with the participants.

“While developing the training, we focused on best practices in detecting and combating illicit trafficking in weapons, ammunition and explosives, and on attracting the best experts as well. We are convinced that this training will increase the level of knowledge and skills of Ukrainian border guards,” said Vadym Makohon, National Project Specialist.

“The growing dynamics of the illegal weapons seizure shows that our personnel perform their duties properly. At the same time, offenders are resorting to more ingenious methods of moving weapons around the world, so we need to build up our capabilities. We are grateful to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine for the significant support provided to the State Border Guard Service in this direction”, said Major General Yurii Lysiuk, Head of the Border Control Department in Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.

The project is implemented by the OSCE Project Coordinator in Ukraine under the program “Support to Strengthen the Capacity of Public Authorities of Ukraine in Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives in All Its Manifestations”, implemented with the support of the European Union, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Norway, the Lithuanian Republic, the Republic of Poland, the Slovak Republic, the United States of America, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic during 2019 – 2022.