If President Viktor Yanukovych is to be believed, saboteurs in the nation are illegally buying up massive amounts of firearms in preparation for a coup. The public has yet to hear any sort of proof to back up these claims, however, because most likely nothing of the kind is happening.

“They want to disrupt the financial stability in Ukraine, to disrupt the political stability and go to the streets with pitchforks,” the president said earlier this month. “I learned from law enforcement agencies that arms are being bought [in Ukraine] and armed attacks on government agencies are being prepared.”

The groundwork for the irresponsible presidential pronouncements was laid by the helpful Security Service of Ukraine, the nation’s elite law enforcement agency, which asserted that 120 handguns, two Kalashnikovs and a machine gun were missing from the Interior Ministry training university in Lviv, the largest town in western Ukraine. But illegal sales of firearms from impoverished state military institutions are old news in Ukraine.

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