New problem for Ukraine? A gang specializing in smuggling ancient artifacts to Russia

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has already crossed 100 days and the Russian army has slowly taken control of a number of areas around Ukraine. However, there seems to be another problem plaguing Ukraine amid the current crisis. According to an international team of academics and digital technology experts tracking the thefts, there is a specialized gang active in Ukraine that is smuggling historical artifacts into Russia taking advantage of the current situation.

“There is now very strong evidence that this was a deliberate move by Russia, with specific paints and adornments being targeted and taken to Russia,” anthropologist Brian Daniels told the Guardian.

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The team believes that the most smuggled item from Ukraine today is Scythian gold. The tribes known as Scythia from Central Asia and Eastern Europe constructed these valuable filigree coins many years ago and there is a considerable amount of them present in parts of Ukraine to this stage.

“These objects are visually stunning, and there are now so many reports of thefts that it is obvious that this is a strategy. The Ukrainians, of course, are also very keen that we compile a list of stolen items,

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“We are increasingly concerned about museum employees and security personnel, especially when they end up behind Russian lines,” Daniels said while explaining the current situation in Ukraine.

Currently, the team of Daniels and his colleagues are operating from Virginia in the United States and their primary goal is to cause the destruction or removal of any historical artifacts in Ukraine.


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