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US accuses Russia of using banned chemical weapon in Ukraine

The State Department reports Moscow’s use of both chloropicrin, a choking agent, and riot control agents as a method of warfare in its invasion.
US accuses Russia of using banned chemical weapon in Ukraine
Soldier in a gas mask. Photo: Depositphotos
US accuses Russia of using banned chemical weapon in Ukraine

Washington has accused Moscow of violating an international treaty by using the First World War-era chemical weapon chloropicrin in Ukraine, according to an official US State Department statement announcing new sanctions against Russia.

Ukrainian military reports had previously alleged Russian chemical weapons use. 

According to the State Department, Moscow has used both chloropicrin, a choking agent, and riot control agents “as a method of warfare” in its invasion.

“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 statement reads

While not a deadly nerve agent, chloropicrin can cause severe respiratory distress at high concentrations. It was used by Germany against allied troops during World War I but has since been banned for military use.

The United States Treasury Department has announced a sweeping package of sanctions targeting Russia’s military-industrial complex, chemical and biological weapons programs, and companies and individuals in third countries aiding Russia in procuring critical resources for weapons and defense production.

Nearly 300 targets face sanctions from both the Treasury and State Departments, including actors who have enabled Russia to acquire desperately needed technology and equipment from abroad in violation of restrictions.

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