A bloody crime scene
A gun is found atop a pool of blood. Reuters


  • A nurse in Tver Oblast found grenades in an apartment she was renting out
  • Russian law enforcement have reported incidents of civilians shooting guns into the air
  • The number of crimes involving war ammunition has also rose since the start of the war in Ukraine

Russian civilians have been finding guns misplaced by the army amid Moscow's ongoing war in Ukraine, leading to a significant rise in gun violence in the country.

Most of the misplaced weapons were found in the Russian regions of Kursk and Belgorod along the Ukrainian border. However, civilians are also finding firearms in other places. For instance, On March 20, a nurse in the town of Kimry in Tver Oblast found grenades in an apartment she was renting out after the previous tenant left. A subsequent search by local police forces also uncovered handguns, cartridges and TNT blocks in the apartment, a report by the independent online newspaper The Insider said.

A week prior, traffic police inspectors detained Altai resident Akrom Chorshanbiyev after rifles and ammunition were found in his car. Chorshanbiyev claimed he was on leave after fighting in the war in Ukraine as a member of Russia's infamous Wagner private military company (PMC).

Apart from uncovering ammunition stashes, Russian law enforcement has also reported several incidents of civilians shooting assault rifles in the air. One incident involved a local shooting a gun in the air to celebrate his wedding. Four Moscow students were also detained in a separate incident for shooting guns into the air.

Since April 2022, the number of weapons being found by civilians amid the war in Ukraine has already led to an increase in gun violence in Russia by about 32%, the outlet said, citing the General Prosecutor's Office. The outlet also noted that the figure may be understated.

Apart from the surge in gun violence, the number of crimes involving war ammunition also rose after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. On Jan. 14, for example, three people died and 18 were wounded after mobilized sergeant Dmitry L. threw a grenade near an ammunition warehouse in Tonenkoye as part of a joke. The incident also burned down a nearby village club and school.

In December, a cafe in Lyudmila sustained damages after Sergeant Artem Shapovalov and Private Ivan Kireevsky of Military Unit 29760, who had previously been deployed in the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, threw a grenade into a garbage can.

The rising number of gun violence in Russia comes as the war in Ukraine stretches into its 15th month.

President Volodymyr Zelensky decried Russia for "brutally shelling" residential buildings and "killing people in broad daylight"