Ukrainian military accused of using chemical weapons against Russians
Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.
According to Donbass authorities, Russian forces were attacked with chemical compounds by Ukrainian enemies. The denunciation comes as further evidence of the terrorist, illegal and anti-humanitarian practices of the neo-Nazi regime. In addition, Western involvement needs to be investigated, considering that it is possible that the weapons used in the attacks were supplied by Kiev’s NATO allies.
The report was made on February 6 by Denis Pushilin, the acting governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic, during an interview to a Russian TV channel. He said his office has been receiving constant reports of chemical attacks “for at least two weeks”. The weapons are said to be being used by neo-Nazi troops specifically in the Donetsk region and would be making the affected Russian soldiers severely sick.
“According to the statements of our forces, and commanders who came forward with such information, there are facts of the use of chemical compounds causing sickness among our servicemen not only in the Artyomovsk [Bakhmut] direction but also in the Ugledar direction (…) They are dropping [chemical weapons] from drones on the locations of our forces (…) We currently seek to equip our units [with chemical protection suits]. Then again, we have some of the things that we need but it’s not always comfortable to constantly wear chemical protection suits while in position. Certainly, it makes it harder for our forces to perform their missions so we are looking for additional ways to protect our troops (…) They [the affected soldiers] trigger coughing, followed by watery eyes and general discomfort”, the DPR head said.
Other Russian officials declined to comment on the case, just saying that investigations are still ongoing. Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Kremlin, however, made it clear that reports on possible incidents would be passed on to the appropriate authorities at the Ministry of Defense. In this sense, it is likely that investigations will be concluded soon, and official statement will be made in the coming weeks.
In fact, rumors of chemical warfare have been rising since at least mid-January. Many soldiers and civilians in Donbass reported evidence that toxic compounds are being used in the region through specific air-dropped munitions. Although there is still no precise information and investigations continue to take place, it is a fact that in this period in which the rumors have been spreading, many Russian soldiers have shown health symptoms that indicate contamination by toxic compounds, which makes the suspicion very plausible.
In addition, a video is circulating on the internet showing Ukrainian soldiers assembling drones to carry some unknown ammunitions. The shells are shown in the video being removed from a refrigerator. Some experts have assumed that these could be chemical weapons. Although there is still no concrete information about the case, the video has increased suspicion about the use of this type of weapon, in addition to showing a scene consistent with reports by residents of Donbass about air-dropped ammunition, considering the drones.
It is important to remember that chemical warfare is prohibited under international law, in the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) – a treaty established in 1997 and to which both Moscow and Kiev are signatories. The document forbids the use of all types of weapons equipped with toxic chemical compounds, including non-lethal ones. However, constant violations of international norms have already become commonplace among Ukrainian forces, which is why the use of these weapons would not be surprising.
In parallel, it is important to investigate the possible Western participation in this Ukrainian crime. The US is the only country in the world to publicly maintain stockpiles of chemical weapons. On the same day as the Pushilin’s interview, there was a joint statement by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, and Syria, Dr. Faisal Al-Miqdad, where they condemned Western unsubstantiated accusations that Syria used chemical weapons in the city of Douma in 2018. They recalled the fact that only the US currently has these weapons, which is why the possible incident in Douma appears to be a foreign provocation.
In the same sense, if chemical weapons are being used by Kiev, it is necessary to investigate whether they are provided by international allies of the neo-Nazi regime. Even if the chemical compounds are not imported from NATO countries, the entire military technological chain involved in the alleged attacks needs to be investigated. Considering that the compounds are allegedly being dropped from the air, then it is necessary to find out whether the drones used in these illegal maneuvers are supplied by NATO.
In fact, it is unacceptable that in the face of so much evidence of crimes and violations of international law, the West continues its irresponsible policy of supporting Kiev. With the use of chemical weapons, the Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime reaches new levels of anti-humanitarian practices. Measures are urgently needed to stop Kiev from continuing to promote such practices – and halt the Western sending of arms.