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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Flashback: Senator Obama pushed bill that helped destroy more than 15,000 TONS of ammunition, 400,000 small arms and 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles in Ukraine -- By David Martosko, DailyMail.co.uk

Sen. Lugar lost his seat in 2012 after it emerged that he no longer lived in Indiana, the state he represented. Obama became president in 2008, and now faces a crisis in the nation he once sought to disarm

  • Obama traveled to Ukraine with Sen. Dick Lugar in 2005 just seven months after he became a senator, touring surplus weapons stockpiles
  • Most of the small arms and ammunition were left over when Soviets withdrew from Eastern bloc nations, and later dumped in Ukraine 
  • The two senators secured U.S. funding to help destroy the weapons instead of leaving them intact
  • Ukraine exported more than 700,000 small arms in 2004-2007, including 101,000 each to Libya and the UK, and 260,000 to the U.S.
  • But most of the ammunition stockpiles – crucial for keeping a standing army battle-ready – were destroyed
  • Ukraine is in a staring match with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has designs on recapturing portions of the former Soviet nation

  • As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.

    In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.

    The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.

    After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.


    Then-Senator Barack Obama inspected decommissioned artillery shells in a warehouse in Donetsk, Ukraine, and argued that Congress should allocate money to speed up the destruction of thousands of tons more
    Then-Senator Barack Obama inspected decommissioned artillery shells in a warehouse in Donetsk, Ukraine, and argued that Congress should allocate money to speed up the destruction of thousands of tons more
    Obama, then a junior senator on the Foreign Relations Committee, worked with then-Republican committee chair Dick Lugar (L) to oversee destruction of Soviet-era war materiel through an agreement that Lugar had brokered years earlier, covering only nuclear weapons
    Obama, then a junior senator on the Foreign Relations Committee, worked with then-Republican committee chair Dick Lugar (L) to oversee destruction of Soviet-era war materiel through an agreement that Lugar had brokered years earlier, covering only nuclear weapons

    Photographs from the trip show Obama inspecting a plant where Soviet-era artillery shells and shoulder-fired missiles were collecting dust, leftovers dumped in Ukraine after the USSR withdrew from Eastern bloc nations after the once-mighty communist nation fell apart.

    The United Nations had already identified some 7 million small arms and light weapons, and 2 million tons of conventional ammunition, warehoused in more than 80 weapons depots spread across the country.

    Many of the artillery shells shown in photographs from Donetsk, multiple weapons experts told MailOnline, would be the same types of ammunition required to repel advancing Russian divisions as they advanced to the west, had they not been destroyed.

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