On May 21, 2016, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) arrested French citizen Gregoire Moutaux at the Ukrainian-Polish border. Moutaux’s car was allegedly full of weapons and held more than 100 kilos of explosives at the time.
The SBU say Moutaux’s arrest as a victory against right-wing terrorism. French authorities saw the case in a different light.
French journalist Sébastien Gobert, who has been following this case, says Moutaux was allegedly set up by his Ukrainian partners and the SBU.
“The SBU and its chief Vasyl Hrytsak have used the Moutaux arrests to promote their action and their fight against international terrorism, but we have seen in the course of the investigation that this is not really the case. And even the French investigators didn’t take the Ukrainian claims seriously,” he said.
Gobert said what remains serious about this case is the weapons smuggling aspect. Since the start of the war in eastern Ukraine, the number of illegal weapons in the country has risen significantly.
“It seems to me, that given the current circumstances Ukraine has been living in for the past four years, someone like Moutaux was interested in buying weapons in Ukraine, maybe to sell them in western Europe, so in that sense using Ukraine as some kind of a supermarket for weapons,” he said.
Gobert said although Ukraine has a growing number of illegal weapons, cases of smuggling across the border are not really proven.