On 24 July, police in Kabardino-Balkaria launched Operation Weapons, to identify and shut down channels of illegal arms, ammunition, and explosives, the Interior Ministry of Kabardino-Balkaria announced. The operation is set to last a week.
‘The main aim of the operation is to identify and shut down sources of illegal weapons, ammunition, explosives, and explosive devices, as well as to detect and liquidate workshops and clandestine shops where civilian weapons are turned into combat analogues’, the ministry’s statement reads.
During the operation, search activities will be intensified throughout the republic, and will include the involvement of specially trained dogs.
In Russia, particularly in the North Caucasus, non-lethal pistols are frequently converted into lethal ones, to be used in violent crimes. Similar operations are carried out regularly throughout the country.
Local authorities in Russia often set rewards for handing in illegal weapons. In Kabardino-Balkaria, a reward of ₽15,000 ($254) is offered for handing in a pistol. For an assault rifle, the reward is ₽20,000 ($339), for a machine gun it is ₽25,000 ($424), and for a grenade launcher — ₽17,000 ($288).