serbian arms donbass
© DNR Ministry of Defense, 9 November 2019
This Serbian mortar shell 60 mm M73 HE manufactured by the Serbian arms factory Krusik in 2016 was found on the front line in Donbass.
New evidence has emerged of Ukraine's Army using contraband Serbian weapons in the war in Donbass. Serbia officially has not exported weapons to Ukraine since the beginning of the armed conflict between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR). However, Serbian weapons manufactured in 2016 appear to be used by Ukraine's Army in the war in Donbass.

This is not the first documented case of alleged Serbian mortar shells being fired by the Ukrainian Army.


Documents which were leaked to Arms Watch show that in 2016 three foreign governments ordered and purchased such 60 mm M73HE mortar shells from the Serbian arms factory Krusik: the US Government, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
serbian arms donbass
© DNR Ministry of Defense
This 60 mm Serbian mortar shell M73 HE KV lot 02/16 was found by DNR soldiers in Donbass, according to photos published by the DNR Ministry of Defense on 9 November 2019.
serbian arms donbass
© DNR Ministry of Defense
The mortar shell was fired by the Ukrainian Army but did not explode.
Saudi Arabia does not officially export weapons to Ukraine, according to publicly available data. The US Government officially allowed exports of lethal weapons to Ukraine a year later, in December 2017. The UAE, however, did export weapons to Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials.

A military agreement between the UAE and Ukraine was signed on 24 February 2015 in Abu Dhabi, which according to then President Petro Poroshenko would strengthen the Ukrainian defense capabilities.


After the signing of the agreement, an advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Anton Gerashchenko, announced that this cooperation would include "the supply of certain types of arms and military equipment to Ukraine" by the UAE.

"The types and volumes of supplies, as you can imagine, are not for disclosure on Facebook," Gerashchenko said. He stressed that "unlike Europeans and Americans, the Arabs aren't afraid of Putin's threats of a third world war starting in case of arms and ammunition supplies to Ukraine."

Documents reveal that in 2016 the UAE purchased a total of 120,000 pcs. of mortar shells manufactured by the Serbian arms factory Krusik. Among them such 60 mm M73 HE mortar shells as those found in Donbass.
serbian arms Ukraine Saudi arabia

Page 1 of 4 documenting trafficking of lethal weaponry to Ukraine
(See the rest of the document here)

The exporter was the private Serbian company GIM, which according to a leaked GIM letter to Krusik was represented by the Serbian interior minister's father Branko Stefanovich. In a letter to Arms Watch GIM denied that the minister's father was engaged with GIM. However, in a recent TV interview Serbian President Alexander Vucic did confirm that Branko Stefanovic was a GIM employee.
serb president arms trafficking Nebojsa Stefanovic Branko Stefanovic

Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbian vice prime minister
Branko Stefanovic, GIM employee
The President's comment came after Arms Watch published an investigation into who arms ISIS terrorists in Yemen. Documents published by Arms Watch reveal that Serbian weapons manufactured by Krusik and exported by the same company GIM to Saudi Arabia had ended up with Islamic State terrorists in Yemen. The company, according to the leaked documents, was represented by the Serbian interior minister's father. Three days after Arms Watch broke the story, on 18 September, Serbian interior minister Neboisha Stefanovich arrested the Krusik whistleblower Alexander Obradovich.

Instead of investigating the arms trafficking to terrorists in Yemen, the Serbian prosecutors launched an investigation into the leak from Krusik and charged the whistleblower with revealing trade secrets. His arrest caused a wave of protests in Serbia and he was released from prison under house arrest. Yet Alexander Obradovich is under arrest while those who traffic arms go free. The full 3-part investigation into who arms terrorists you can read here: