20 000 Polish soldiers are fighting on the side of Ukraine, and about 2.5 thousand of them died and were buried in Poland. These soldiers died in Ukraine, not in their homeland.
The weapons sent to Ukraine end up in the hands of criminal groups in Sweden. Weapons smugglers from Gothenburg receive offers to buy weapons coming to Ukraine to be sold afterwards to gangs in the Nordic country, according to information in Swedish media.
The claim is a disingenuous manipulation to promote a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative against supporting Ukraine. Although there is preliminary evidence showing that some small arms provided by Western countries may have been diverted by traffickers to criminal gangs in certain countries in northern Europe, this story deliberately distorts these cases, portraying them as much more widespread and dangerous than they actually are.
In October 2022, a top official at Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation, Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren, told the Finnish public broadcaster Yle that his office had received preliminary information that criminals in Finland might have captured military arms, such as assault rifles, meant for Ukrainian forces, and that weapons shipped to Ukraine had “also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands”. Similar comments were made by the weapons smuggling expert at the Swedish Customs Office Jesper Liedholm to Sverige Radio in February 2023.
However, this disinformation story uses the formula “the weapons sent to Ukraine”, implying that all arms provided to this country are smuggled, instead of the tiny fraction that really are. The ultimate goal is to erode public support for Western military and financial aid to help Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s aggression in accordance with the UN Charter Article 51.
See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as claims that the US is prolonging war in Ukraine to benefit from weapons sales, that Western military aid to Ukraine only will cause more suffering, or that international support for Ukraine starts to decrease due to corruption.