Ad: “Selling war trophy from Ukraine, with traces of soldier’s blood”

It´s getting more common to stumbles across ads on the web advertising the sale of war trophies from the current Ukrainian war. Is this just hot talk or are people really turning war booty from fallen soldiers into cash?

Overview of a number of offers from Ukrainian sellers on eBay. Here are offered clothing, equipment and furnishings as war trophies from the Ukrainian war. As it seems mostly from killed, captured or escaped Russian soldiers. The description of a “used item” indicates that blood particles are still in the item.
Bitting for a Russian Howitzer with the “Z” sign

There is a lively trade on the Internet — examples are of Ukrainians trying to sell booty of Russian soldiers to collectors abroad.


A well-coordinated network of sellers

A pin allegedly found in the town of Butscha, where Russian forces carried out a massacre of civilians. It was found in an “abandoned positions of the Russian occupiers!”, according to the description on eBay.
Above, the eBay bid for a Wagner patch (a Velcro patch) with the inscription “I BELIEVE IN NOTHING, I AM ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF VIOLENCE”. It (or the soldier with the patch) had recently been caught “in the Kherson region”, so the description. Whether the person who wore it was captured alive or dead is not stated. Below then: The image search match: The same type of patch (not the same from the eBay offer) from two Russian soldiers allegedly killed in Chevron. They were liquidated near Bachmut in June, it is said. This could not be verified.
“Secondhand” jackets of allegedly killed members of special forces are also offered.

Selling of weapons

The description of a Ukrainian online arms trade: “Free classifieds buy-sell used weapons for Ukraine. including commission sales of weapons”.
Sale of an assault rifle with live ammunition, sales target group (excuse the pun): Ukrainians
A bulletproof vest for 1600 USD, which is far above the normal price. In addition, the seller also offers a first aid kit, for 15 euros, but much more affordable.

Not all war trophy ads are real, and not all have to be ones of high value

(By Anya Free, Ph.D. Candidate in History, University of California, Davis, Quelle) — Right: Russian food ration pack
Comparison of images from the Russian Military Fair which provides a distorted account of a Russian air raid in the description.
German military equipment exhibitioned as Russian war trophies


During a battle with the Russian army, the stormtroopers seized a combat transport as a trophy. Its crew fled after shells damaged the vehicle’s wheels.
The vehicle contained several laptops and Ukrainian banknotes. The laptops were recognised by the residents of the village located not far from the battlefield. According to them, the Russian soldiers took their household appliances, money, clothes and food and searched the houses left by the owners evacuated from the battlefield. They were looking for anything of value and alcohol, the Zaporizhzhya region defence forces claim. “They took blankets and mattresses, took canned food from cellars and removed curtains from windows,” they said. If any of the villagers tried to protest, they threatened them with a gun.”
In the photo: a laptop and a packet of Ukrainian banknotes from a Russian APC. In the background there is a ration of the Russian army.



Investigative journalist with a technical edge, interested in open source investigations, satellite imgs, R, python, AI, data journalism and injustice

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Investigative journalist with a technical edge, interested in open source investigations, satellite imgs, R, python, AI, data journalism and injustice