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ISW: Russia recycles disproven bio and chem weapons allegations against Kyiv to undermine Western support

Russian officials are again claiming, without evidence, that Ukraine is using a “wide range of toxic chemicals” against Russian troops, including banned substances, as the Kremlin amplifies disinformation aimed at undermining Western resolve, ISW says.
chemical attacks Russia
A Russian grenade containing a chemical agent. Photo: General Staff
ISW: Russia recycles disproven bio and chem weapons allegations against Kyiv to undermine Western support

The Kremlin continues to lean on long-debunked narratives as part of its wider information operations aimed at discrediting and undermining Western support for Ukraine, the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War says.

In a recent interview published on March 25, Russian Ambassador to the Hague Vladimir Tarabin restated the Kremlin’s discredited assertion that Ukraine is manufacturing biological weapons in biolabs funded by the US and NATO.

Tarabin further alleged that Ukrainian forces are regularly deploying various toxic chemicals, including substances prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), against Russian troops along the frontline, although he did not specify the exact locations.

The continued use of the debunked biolabs narrative by Tarabin raises doubts about the credibility of his other claims. Additionally, an unnamed Russian company command alleged that Ukrainian forces are employing phosphorus ammunition shells in undisclosed locations within the Zaporizhzhia direction, although such weaponry, while not banned in conventional warfare by the CWC, is prohibited for use against civilians.

Meanwhile, Russian forces have reportedly deployed white phosphorus in urban areas of Ukraine, posing a risk of harm to civilians on multiple occasions.

Kremlin officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, have persistently accused the West of funding biolabs in Ukraine, a claim that has been refuted by Western publications, officials, and international organizations.

The Russian claims lack credibility compared to reports of Russian forces employing chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile (CS) gas or chloropicrin (PS), both prohibited in warfare under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Russia ratified in 1997.

Several Russian and Ukrainian sources have provided evidence of the use of such banned chemical agents against Ukrainian positions on the battlefield,” ISW says.

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