The maker of the weapon used by the man who slaughtered 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas also supplies various military and combatant branches of the Government of Ukraine with weapons components used in a key assault rifle, new reporting has revealed.
A May 31 post published to the Substack of independent journalist Michael Tracey criticizing Michael McFaul, a self-described “leading expert on Russia, American foreign policy, and democratic development around the world” for a May 25 tweet—where McFaul called on all AR-15 manufacturers to cease productions in response to the tragedy—revealed the association.
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According to May 30 reporting by The Independent, mass murderer Salvador Ramos’s weapon of choice was a made-in-the-USA AR-15-style weapon made by Daniel Defense under the model name DDM4 V7 and retails for approximately $1,950.
Ramos was besieged and eliminated by members of the U.S. Border Patrol’s tactical unit BORTAC and his weapon was recovered at the scene.
‘Domestic and American components’
Tracey pointed out that as early as August of 2020, the State Border Guard Service of the Ukraine published an English-language Press Release where it boasted about “being reformed and rearmed according to EU and NATO standards.”
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The Press Release stated the force would utilize a new UAR-15 model that “will completely replace the Kalashnikov sub-machine gun.”
The Release did caveat, however, that although “the rifle is produced in Ukraine from domestic and American components,” that, “In particular, the barrel and the trigger mechanism, on which the accuracy of firing directly depends, are made in the USA by the Daniel Defense company.”
In a less concrete example, Tracey noted a photo posted to the Daniel Defense section of social marketing website Reddit where three months ago, a user uploaded a picture of what appears to be a volunteer fighter wearing a yellow armband in front of an armored vehicle with a “Z” spray painted on it titled “Ukrainian DDM4V7 in action, after ambushing a convoy.”
And in a much more apt and recent example, Tracey provided a link to a May 21 article in Spec Ops Magazine, which stated the UAR-15 is in use by “Ukrainian National Guard, the Armed Forces, the Border Guards, and other Ukrainian arms groups.”
The article stated, “According to the available information, American company Daniel Defense obtained the license for Zbroyar to produce weapons based on the worldwide AR-15 and AR-10 systems.”
“Some components in Ukrainian production still come from this manufacturer, especially in the case of supplies to the military, although before the war, they were successively replaced by domestic components. These are vital components such as barrels and triggers,” Spec Ops added.
And further stated, “Zbroyar products have entered the market of military weapons under the UKROP brand, and from 2020 UAR-15 carbines will be delivered to units subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
The UAR-15, Spec Ops said, “Is a version of the Z-15 rifles adapted to the user’s requirements, with barrels and triggers adapted for single and automatic fire, provided by Daniel Defense.”
The Magazine pointed out the significant efficacy of the weapon, “Thanks to modern solutions, high ergonomics, and collimator sight, soldiers and officers, even after a short training, achieve better results than with standard Kalashnikov rifles, still in these formations.”
“These are the opinions of the users themselves, often experienced instructors and operators. As they emphasize, UAR-15 in the standard configuration, even with mechanical devices, allows you to achieve similar results as the AK-74 carbine after a substantial modification,” the concluded.
Vanishing into the fog of war
The finding is sensitive, as a mid-March Fact Sheet on a batch of weapons donations sent to Ukraine by the Biden Administration stated that no less than 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, and 400 shotguns would be transferred from the American cache to Ukraine’s.
On April 19, CNN published an article titled What Happens To Weapons Sent To Ukraine? The US Doesn’t Really Know, which paraphrased “one source briefed on US intelligence” as opining that a major risk of donating weapons to Ukraine is “that in the long term, some of those weapons may wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm.”
The source was directly quoted as adding, “We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero…It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time.”