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For Sale: Kazakhstani Armed Recon Vehicles. Low Mileage, Fully Loaded

Polish BRDM-2s, a Kazakhstani version of which could be yours for $14,000.

A curious classified ad appeared recently in the Kazakhstan car website Koleso ("Wheels"): "GAZ-66, KamAZA3-4310, ZIL-131, Ural-4320, Ural-375, more than 200 vehicles, fully renovated. Most with zero mileage."

An enterprising reporter from Kazakh news service KazTAG, noting that those are all military trucks and transports of various kinds, called the number in the listing, and found that there were even unspecified types of armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles (BRDM in Russian) for sale: "We're selling renovated military equipment," the seller told the reporter. "We also have BRDMs for sale. On average, a GAZ-66 military truck will cost 12-14 thousand dollars. The price for an BRDM will depend on configuration, but no more than 14 thousand dollars."

A military expert told the agency that "a BRDM can be useful not just to hunters, but also to extremists, for use in hard-to-reach regions and clashes with security structures. The armor on the machine is weak, but it can handle any small arms used in our special forces units. By virtue of its speed and maneuverability it's not easy to hit with a grenade launcher. Likewise, a BRDM travels well off-road, which is important for criminals in setting up arms caches in hard-to-reach places, as with the extremists in Aktobe."

While placing an online ad is an especially brazen approach, the unauthorized sale of military equipment is not uncommon in the former Soviet Union. Notoriously, some rogue Kazakhstani officers sold several fighter jets to North Korea in the 1990s, so this escapade is quite a bit tamer. Still, the Ministry of Defense is taking a dim view: after news reports came out, the military prosecutor's office announced that it is investigating.

For Sale: Kazakhstani Armed Recon Vehicles. Low Mileage, Fully Loaded

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