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Russia Accused of Chemical Warfare in Ukraine, US Imposes Sanctions

The U.S. State Department asserts that Russian forces deployed chloropicrin, a toxic irritant, against Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield.

Russia has violated the international ban on chemical weapons, declared the U.S. State Department on May 1st in justification of new sanctions against the Russian Federation. The State Department alleges that Russian forces used chloropicrin, a poisonous irritant substance, against Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers.

In response, the United States added the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Radiological, Chemical, and Biological Defense Forces, the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Applied Acoustics, the 48th Central Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, as well as four companies associated with Russian chemical and biological weapons programs, to its sanctions list.

“The use of such chemicals is not an isolated incident, and is probably driven by Russian forces’ desire to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions and achieve tactical gains on the battlefield,” the State Department notes.

According to the U.S., Russia also used that same chemical to suppress mass protests in the country.

In addition to chloropicrin, Russian forces on the frontlines use tear gas grenades known as “Buzok,” reports Reuters, citing statements from Ukrainian military officials.

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, at least 500 Ukrainian soldiers have undergone treatment due to the effects of toxic substances on their bodies, and one serviceman died from asphyxiation due to tear gas.

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