Awash with arms and facing a breakdown in law and order, war-torn eastern Ukraine has all the elements required to become a major illicit international weapons market.
Long a nexus in the global arms trade, Ukraine is already witnessing a boom in black-market sales of arms seeping out of the conflict zone, fueling what authorities say is a wave of violent crime in the country.
"Everyone knows about the weapons market in eastern Ukraine, it's no secret," Myroslav Hay, a former Ukrainian volunteer who fought in the east. Speaking to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service recently, he described an enormous illegal-arms trade, with weapons and ammunition changing hands in some cases for merely a few bottles of alcohol.
For now, most of the illicit weapons trade appears to be isolated inside Ukraine, but there are worrying signs that could soon change.
Read more at Radio Free Europe.