war-trophies-swiped-from-dead-russians-selling-fast-on-ebay

War Trophies Swiped From Dead Russians Selling Fast on eBay

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty Images/eBay

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty Images/eBay

As demoralized Russian troops sabotage their own weapons systems and flog the parts for scrap, some enterprising Ukrainians, whose normal livelihoods have taken a severe hit since Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion, are making ends meet by selling captured and abandoned Russian gear on eBay.

The trophies include battle-scarred watches and mess kits, uniform hats and cap badges, missile components and tank hatches, good luck charms, boots found near a destroyed Russian column, even sets of long underwear left behind by fleeing (or dead) Russian soldiers.

“This is not just a military artifact—a human life is behind of [sic] each of these things,” one listing for an army belt tells prospective customers.

Another listing reads, “The uniform of a Russian soldier from the war in Ukraine 2022. The lot is unique in that it was taken not in the first days of the war, but roughly speaking these days. Just 3 days ago… this form [sic] was in the hottest place—in the Donbas.”

At $425, the ensemble isn’t cheap. But, as the listing grimly notes: “Good condition, not worn for long:)))”

The seller, who asked that he be identified only by his first name, Taras, told The Daily Beast he owns a small grocery store in Kyiv but that business has slumped dramatically during the war.

“Now, everything is difficult,” Taras said. “eBay helps out and has become the main type of work… Wartime items are of great interest to collectors.”

<div class=

War souvenirs like these can fetch big bucks on eBay.

Supplied by Taras

” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/WRpls8zH4zY991IivlpP.w–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNQ–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/NmBaXiuRG4xuacx0qAnu0A–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/thedailybeast.com/7f4e4f4b0a96064f87a490c995a20463″>

War souvenirs like these can fetch big bucks on eBay.

Supplied by Taras

Since Russian troops entered Ukraine in March, the nation’s economy has all but imploded. Some 50 percent of Ukraine’s businesses have shuttered over the past four months, and about half of all Ukrainians have lost their jobs. Only two percent of the newly unemployed have been able to find ways to stay afloat, according to economist Nataliya Katser-Buchkovska. If the war continues unabated, up to 90 percent of the Ukrainian population could sink into poverty, the UN’s International Labor Organization warned in May.

Taras just started selling war relics this month, and has moved about 20 items so far. Now that his shop is struggling, Taras said he recently started thinking his profession is “Dude who takes [and sells] crazy things.”

He obtains most of his auction items independently, but also said he takes orders from clients he connects with online.

“Today one of my clients asked me to get and send him a hatch from a damaged tank,” Taras said on Tuesday, adding that he has not yet come across a suitable one. “We have guys from the front line, we buy things from them and thus give support to them.”

<div class=

A Russian soldier’s boots can be yours for $100 on eBay.

eBay

” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/7JUzmgqMcEPq9mF40b0b3w–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNQ–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/qjt7c.EZct_cYiprtqVZvg–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/thedailybeast.com/8734d086c5825084a71f29401d220bed”>

A Russian soldier’s boots can be yours for $100 on eBay.

eBay

After active hostilities in and around Kyiv died down, Taras said he began taking items left behind by the Russians. In addition to removing hardware and personal effects from enemy equipment, Taras has also purchased “from the population” some of the things he offers for sale online.

His customers are primarily in America, Canada, and Australia, Taras said. “But most of all, America.”

The items vary, based on what he discovers, explained Taras, who often posts a snippet of backstory and a photo of where he found the item along with his listings.

“[O]fficer’s pencil case from a self-propelled artillery mount,” one reads. “product 100% original. Taken from the self-propelled guns (last photo) after a quick counteroffensive in the Chernihiv region. The Russians retreated, leaving the equipment without fuel. There is only one photograph of the person carrying the item, the documents were seized by the military earlier.”

<div class=

This officer’s pencil case is being sold for $100.

eBay

” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/cacQyIyo1sMwXzwCJtlt8Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNQ–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/1fRDza59EfiLGtV1Juauog–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/thedailybeast.com/9d8338595a417db05607203a43ce3c8a”>