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Russia says US and its accomplices plan to carry out ‘large-scale provocations’ in Ukraine using chemical weapons

A file image of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the country's Minister of Defence, Sergei Shoigu (Image courtesy: Twitter/@KremlinRussia_E)

Accusing the United States and its allies of having repeatedly used chemically formulated munitions during military conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria in the past, Russia on Tuesday said that the US and its accomplices now plan to carry out “large-scale provocations” in Ukraine using toxic chemicals.

The Russian Defence Ministry held a detailed media briefing on the issue in Moscow today asserting that, in the conditions of hostilities, the international community will not be able to organise an effective investigation, as a result of which the real organisers and perpetrators can avoid responsibility, and the blame will be placed on Moscow.

“On February 22, an influential American non-governmental organisation held a conference on the events in Ukraine. During this event, former US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan made a statement QUOTE: “… Russian troops plan to use chemical weapons in the zone of a special military operation …”

“We regard this information as the intention of the United States itself and its accomplices to carry out a provocation in Ukraine using toxic chemicals,” said Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, Chief of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection (NBC) Troops of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Russian Defence Ministry also said that it received information that on February 10, 2023, a train arrived in Ukraine (Kramatorsk) with one of the wagons containing a cargo of chemicals and accompanied by a group of foreign citizens.

“The car was uncoupled and towed to the territory of the Kramatorsk metallurgical plant named after. Kuibyshev, where, under the control of the security service of Ukraine and representatives of the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the unloading of chemicals took place,” said Kirillov.

“The cargo consisted of 16 sealed metal boxes, eight of which had a chemical hazard sign, the B-Zet inscription and marking with two red lines, which corresponds to the class of poisonous substances with a temporary detoxifying effect. Five boxes had the inscription “CS – RAYOT”, three – “CR – RAYOT” with a marking in the form of a single red stripe, which corresponds to irritating substances,” he stated.

Russian Armed Forces
Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, Chief of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection (NBC) Troops of the Russian Armed Forces

The Russian General mentioned that the cargo was placed on “American-made armoured vehicles” which, as part of the column, advanced to the line of contact.

He went on to add that 11 wagons loaded with shrapnel ammunition and “special markings” were unloaded on the night of February 19 on a platform in the suburbs Kramatorsk on cars that were marked with the inscriptions ‘building materials’ and ‘cement’.

(Image courtesy: Russian Defence Ministry)

The Russian Defence Ministry also said that the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre planned to supply Ukraine with a large batch of personal protective equipment including more than 55,000 sets of personal protective equipment, 55,000 gas masks, 13,000 individual anti-chemical packages.

“The facts of the simultaneous delivery of toxic chemicals and means of protection against them indicate an attempt to carry out large-scale provocations using the military psychotropic poisonous substance Bi-Zet during the conflict,” said Kirillov.

Russia said that its stationary and mobile systems for monitoring the NBC situation deployed in the area of the special military operation make it possible to detect chemical threats in a timely manner and promptly respond to them.

“The analytical capabilities of the chemical laboratories available in the Russian Ministry of Defense make it possible to reliably determine not only the type of chemical used, but also the country of origin,” remarked Kirillov.

Moscow also warned that the West is mistaken in counting on the successful implementation of provocations with toxic chemicals in the conditions of warfare.

“We warn that in case of provocations with the use of toxic chemicals, the true culprits will be identified and punished by us. We will continue to work to expose the criminal activities of the West in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention,” he added.