Friday, December 22, 2023

Since Start of War in Ukraine, Sales of Air Guns and Other Weapons to Russian Children have Sky-Rocketed, Merkachyova Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 19 – Since Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine, sales of air guns and other copies of weapons being marketed to children have risen by 135 percent, Eva Merkachyova says. In violation of the law, these weapons remain unregulated and largely uncontrolled and are already being used to inflict serious injuries across Russia.

            According to the Russian Association of Children’s Goods Industrial Enterprises, the Russian human rights activist and journalist says, this is “on the whole the most rapidly growing segment of the market,” yet another way in which Putin’s war is coming home to Russia in an increasingly violent way (

            The Russian Prosecutor General’s office says that teenagers now use products tha tcloely resemble weapons” but “are purchased without a license, are not registered, and thus are not subject to restrictions and prohibitions that apply to weapons more generally.” That is leading to “tragic consequences” across the country, Merkachyova says.

            Among the regions where such “poor toys” have been used and inflicted injuries of varying degrees of severity are Krasnodark and Stavropol kray, Moscow, Oryol, and Sverdlovsk oblasts, Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to the Prosecutor General’s office. There are likely cases elsewhere that have not been reported to the center.

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