Vladimir Putin has been accused of using lethal chemical weapons in the besieged city of Mariupol and if it turns out to be truss then NATO will “respond” and could put boots on the ground in Ukraine.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) have thus far been unable to confirm reports, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are scrambling to verify all the facts surrounding the claim.
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The Azov Battalion who are fighting with Ukrainian forces, claimed three of their soldiers were showing signs of chemical poisoning after a Russian drone had dropped an unknown substance.
The battalion has not put forward any evidence at the moment, but the authorities are waiting for more information.
US President Joe Biden has warned that NATO “would respond” to a chemical attack in Ukraine and he warned that Putin will pay a “severe price.”
US Representative for the state of Wyoming, Liz Cheney, said that an attack with chemical weapons would be a “red line” for NATO to intervene.
She said, “I think that we in the West, the US and NATO — we need to stop telling the Russians what we won’t do.
“We need to be very clear that we are considering all options, that the use of chemical weapons is certainly something that would alter our calculations.”
About an hour ago, Russian occupation forces used a poisonous substance of unknown origin against Ukrainian military and civilians in Mariupol, which was dropped from an enemy UAV. The victims have respiratory failure, vestibulo-atactic syndrome
— Hromadske Int. (@Hromadske) April 11, 2022
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that any use of chemical or biological weapons would be a “blatant and brutal violation of international law.”
He said on NBC’s Meet the Press, “At the same time we know that Russia has used chemical agents in Europe before, against their own political opponents and Russia has been facilitating and supporting the Assad regime in Syria, where chemical weapons have been used.
“[W]e are very much aware that we need to act in a way that prevents this conflict from going from being a very bloody, ugly, horrific conflict in Ukraine to something that turns out to be a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia, in Europe, and also potentially involving, of course, the United States directly.”
Liz Truss tweeted, “Reports that Russian forces may have used chemical agents in an attack on the people of Mariupol.
“We are working urgently with partners to verify details.
“Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict and we will hold [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his regime to account.”
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said, “We are aware of social media reports which claim Russian forces deployed a potential chemical munition in Mariupol, Ukraine.
“We cannot confirm at this time and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“These reports, if true, are deeply concerning and reflective of concerns that we have had about Russia’s potential to use a variety of riot control agents, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents, in Ukraine.”
Of course the Kremlin has stuck to their usual line of Deny, deny, deny as they dismissed the claims saying that they are simply “diversion tactics.”
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