Disinfo: The weapons sent to Ukraine end up in the hands of criminal groups in Sweden


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.


  • Reported in: Issue 330
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/02/2023
  • Article language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Sweden, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Invasion of Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Organised crime, Crime
This disinformation claim was broadcast on the date mentioned above. Due to the EU decisions  to temporarily restrict the spread and dissemination of RT, Sputnik and other instruments used to manipulate information and promote disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine inside the EU, access to the link may not work inside the EU.
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Disinfo: 20 thousand Polish soldiers fight in Ukraine – 2500 have been killed already

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.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, presenting Poland as a state with aggressive anti-Ukrainian plans, aiming to obfuscate the reality of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

There is no evidence to substantiate the claim. There is a limited number of Polish citizens who have joined the official Ukrainian Army units as volunteers, far from the “tens of thousands” Polish soldiers fighting in Ukraine and “thousands” Polish casualties claimed in this piece.

Disinfo: NATO is party to Ukraine conflict

NATO’s arms deliveries to Ukraine make it a participant in the conflict because its assistance is free of charge. It means that the West is complicit in Kyiv's crimes.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets accusing the West of direct involvement in Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, attempting to distract attention from Russia's crimes committed during the invasion.

NATO as an organisation does not supply Ukraine with weapons.

Disinfo: Under the guise of an exercise NATO divers planted explosives under the Nord Stream

Under the guise of an exercise NATO divers planted explosives under the Nord Stream. Last summer, US Navy divers had placed explosives under the Nord Stream pipelines, which were activated by the Norwegians three months later.

On 26 September 2022, a Norwegian naval aircraft dropped a hydro-acoustic buoy that detonated the previously placed explosives. He pointed out that US President Joe Biden decided to sabotage the Nord Stream after nine months of secret talks with national security officials in Washington.


Conspiracy theory not backed by any evidence, part of a wider disinformation campaign aiming to fill the information space to portray the West as responsible for the Nord Stream sabotage.

On 26 September 2022, the NS1 and the NS2 pipelines both ruptured. Denmark, Sweden view the Nord Stream pipeline leaks as 'deliberate actions'