Several, and maybe even several dozen 9K38 Igla (Needle) air defense systems (SA-18 Grouse in NATO’s classification) have been stolen, a Ukrainian military official, who wished to remain anonymous, told RIA Novosti.
The new leadership of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry is, according to the RIA source, taking measures to “camouflage the grave situation” by adding old and experimental items of the weapon to the stockpile.
The Igla MANPADs are designed to strike down low-flying targets. Their distribution is regulated by a number of international agreements since it’s highly undesirable that this type of weapon gets into the hands of terrorists. Russia and the US have an agreement on MANPADs’ distribution.
There later appeared reports that Libyan MANPADs could have been obtained by insurgents, fighting against Assad in Syria.