Russia unleashes chemical agents on Mariupol
Ukraine claims Russia deployed “chemical agents” in an attack on Mariupol citizens, causing soldiers and residents “dizzy and unable to breathe.”
As a result of the “unknown chemical,” troops defending Mariupol’s port city are allegedly suffering from respiratory failure, disorientation, and other symptoms.
According to unsubstantiated accounts from the city’s Azov regiment, the unnamed chemical was dumped on the southern city – which has suffered some of the bloodiest combat since the conflict began – by a Russian drone.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss responded to the claims by saying that if Russia deployed chemical weapons in its invasion of Ukraine, it would be a “callous escalation.”
“Reports suggest Russian soldiers may have used chemical agents in an attack on the people of Mariupol,” she posted on Twitter. We’re working with partners to confirm specifics as soon as possible.
“Any deployment of these weapons would be a cruel escalation of the conflict, and we will hold Putin and his dictatorship accountable.”
It comes only hours after the UK Ministry of Defence warned Vladimir Putin that in order to retake Mariupol and break the Ukraine deadlock, he may resort to employing lethal “phosphorous bombs.”
The Ministry of Defense warned that Russian soldiers have previously employed the devices in Ukraine’s Donetsk area.
“Russian troops’ earlier use of phosphorous bombs in the Donetsk Oblast enhances the prospect of their future use in Mariupol as the battle for the city escalates,” the Ministry of Defense warned late Sunday.
When employed as a weapon, white phosphorus is used for nighttime lighting or to create a smokescreen, but it produces severe burns.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, has previously accused Russia of employing the toxin.
“Russian occupation troops employed a deadly material of unknown origin on Ukrainian soldiers and people in the city of Mariupol, which was dropped from an enemy drone,” the far-right Ukrainian Azov regiment alleged.
“The patients are suffering from respiratory failure… the consequences of the mysterious drug are still being investigated.”
Ivanna Klympush, a Ukrainian MP, tweeted on Monday evening: “Russia deployed an unknown chemical in #Mariupol 1.5 hours ago.
“Victims suffer from respiratory failure and vestibular ataxia. Probably chem.weapons!
“This is the red line beyond which the despotic economy must be destroyed.
We want a complete ban on all fuels from #RU as well as heavy weaponry from 2UA right now!”
The claimed strike occurred just hours after a pro-Russian commander in Donbas seemed to advocate for the use of chemical weapons.
They said Russia will “smoke the Ukrainian spies out of the subterranean,” according to official media.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Parliament has received allegations of Russian soldiers shooting “nitric acid” in the Donetsk area, according to the Ukrainian Parliament.
Residents were advised to use “protective face masks drenched in soda solution,” according to the report. It’s unclear whether the two instances are connected.
Vadym Boychenko, the mayor of Mariupol, says the city has seen more than 10,000 dead so far.
Since the invasion began in late February, the port city has experienced some of the most violent fighting.
Mr. Boychenko further warned that the death toll might reach 20,000, and that Russian soldiers are sending cremation equipment into the city to dispose of dead.