US Accuses Russia of Using Chemical Weapons in Ukraine War

Using a chemical weapon against Ukrainian soldiers violates the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Russia ratified, according to the accusations.

U.S. officials said that Putin’s troops used chloropicrin to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions and achieve tactical gains on the battlefield. During World War One, chloropicrin—an oily substance—was extensively employed despite its toxic effects, which include skin, eye, and lung irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition to being prohibited explicitly by the CWC, the OPCW has classified it as a choking agent.

Nearly 300 Russian, Chinese, and other foreign companies were singled out in the sanctions announcement, which the US Treasury Department said would cripple Russia’s military and industrial capabilities. These nations and individuals are accused of lending assistance to President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.

Russian government agencies and businesses participating in the nation’s chemical and biological weapons programs are among the entities that will be penalized by the sanctions, as will those that assist Moscow in acquiring weapons for its conflict in Ukraine. Despite Russia’s claims that it has eliminated its chemical weapons stockpile, the nation is being pushed to be more forthcoming over the purported usage of these lethal weapons.

Inhalation of chloropicrin, which has dual uses as a pesticide and a weapon, may harm human health, according to the US National Institutes of Health. These attacks against Russia’s military-industrial base and the evasion networks that support it would further weaken and impede the country’s war operations.

A week after US President Joe Biden finally signed a long-delayed bill to reinvest in Ukraine, the charges and penalties hit just as the Ukrainian military is fighting to halt Russian advances in the country.

Among the almost 300 entities sanctioned, dozens allegedly helped Russia get much-needed foreign technology and equipment. Countries like China, which has been under growing US criticism for backing Russia’s 15-month assault on Ukraine, were among those targeted. The United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Slovakia, and China were among the non-Russian organizations attacked.