US accuses Russia of structural use of chemical weapons against Ukraine

US accuses Russia of structural use of chemical weapons against Ukraine
US accuses Russia of structural use of chemical weapons against Ukraine
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AFP
Ukrainian soldiers at the front

NOS Newstoday, 03:55

Russia is structurally using chemical weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine, the United States says. The Russian army is said to be using the poisonous chloropicrin against Ukrainian soldiers, among other things. The Kremlin has not yet responded to the accusation.

Washington claims that Moscow has violated the international Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Americans are imposing a series of sanctions against Russian individuals and companies that the US believes play a role in the production or use of these resources.

Burning eyes

The Russians would so-called riot control agents use, which are means such as tear gas. The police may use them during demonstrations that have gotten out of hand, but in a war these substances are prohibited. Inhaling chloropicrin leads to all kinds of symptoms: from burning eyes to nausea and breathing problems. It’s not like nerve gas, where exposure to a small amount is fatal in the short term.

“This is not an isolated incident,” the US State Department said in a statement. According to the Americans, Russia is likely to use chemical weapons for tactical victories on the battlefield. The Russian army has been steadily gaining ground in Ukraine in recent months.

‘Via grenades and drones’

Ukraine has been accusing Russia of using chloropicrin for weeks. According to the Ukrainian army, grenades containing the poisonous gas have already been fired several hundred times by Russia. This would also have happened via drones.

According to the US, the use has now been fully demonstrated, but no evidence has been released. Russia has consistently rejected previous allegations about the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine. Conversely, the Kremlin states that the Ukrainian army used such means, but does not provide any evidence.

The US says Russia has used chemical weapons more often in recent years. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague has determined that Russian opposition leader Navalny was poisoned with Novichok nerve agent in 2020. This poison gas, developed in the Soviet Union, was also found in the Russian ex-spy Skripal, who was poisoned together with his daughter in the United Kingdom. Moscow says it had nothing to do with these poisonings.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: accuses Russia structural chemical weapons Ukraine

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