- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Russian MoD: US Planning Provocations to Accuse Russian Forces of Using WMDs in Ukraine

BIOHAZARD - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia’s Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Protection Troops, revealed the planned Western provocations at a briefing on Saturday.
The US is planning provocations to accuse Russian forces carrying out the special operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine of using WMDs, the Russian Ministry of Defence said.
The MoD has information that Russia will be accused of utilising chemical, biological, or tactical nuclear weapons, in line with at least three scenarios already developed as a response to Moscow's success in conducting its special military operation, said Lt Gen Igor Kirillov, the chief of the Russian MoD's Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Protection Forces.
In an attempt to discredit Russia's ongoing military operation, which exclusively targets military infrastructure, the Kiev regime, at Washington’s instigation, is planning to set in motion scenarios that would lead to the "death of tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and cause an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe", he said.
Kirillov recalled that to date, the United States is "the only state in world history that has used all three types of weapons of mass destruction".
The Western provocation is likely to target chemical and biological facilities in Kharkov and Kiev, and possibly the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. Moreover, the US State Department has already determined the procedure for the subsequent investigation and appointed officials responsible for its conduct, said Lt Gen Igor Kirillov.
"A provocation is not ruled out at nuclear power facilities, primarily at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which is under the control of Russian forces… Thus, on 21 April a convoy of 10 vehicles with dangerous cargo heading towards the nuclear power plant was stopped and turned back to the city of Zaporozhye at a national guard checkpoint, he added.
Bio-hazard symbol - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.04.2022
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The high probability of the US planning to stage a provocation using chemical weapons in Ukraine is confirmed by the supply of poisonous substances and antidotes to Ukraine, said Igor Kirillov, as he pointed out that “in 2022 alone, at the request of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, more than 220,000 ampoules with atropine were delivered from the United States".
According to the general, this fact testifies to the intentional preparation of provocations involving chemical nerve agents.

"With regard to chemical incidents, the attributive mechanism of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be activated, which allows fabricating the necessary evidence and appointing the perpetrators at one's own discretion", emphasised Kirillov.

Another one of the scenarios concocted by the West could be the use of weapons of mass destruction in the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, the general stated.
"Open use of WMDs on the battlefield in case of failure to succeed with conventional weapons… is likely being considered for Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, which have been turned into fortification zones", Kirillov said, while adding that such a scenario is the least likely.
According to the MoD, another Western provocation presupposes the “covert use of WMDs in small volumes" to suppress troops’ ability to carry out specific operational tasks. This plan was ostensibly considered for implementation by the Pentagon at the Azovstal steel enterprise.
Most of Mariupol, barring Azovstal, recently came under the control of the joint forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Russian military.
However, the aborted Russian assault on the plant put paid to those US plans, said Kirillov.
On Thursday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that while Mariupol had come under the control of the Russian Armed Forces, militants remained holed up on the territory of the steel plant.
Residents carry their personal belongings as they leave Mariupol, that came under control of the Donetsk People's Republic, DPR. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.04.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Mariupol Residents Able to Move Freely, No Longer Have to Shelter From Nazis' Shelling - Russian MoD
Putin, in turn, called the assault on Azovstal pointless and ordered it to be cancelled, emphasising the importance of saving the lives of Russian soldiers and officers, while ordering that the Azovstal zone be blocked.

“The staging of the use of weapons of mass destruction is aimed at accusing Russia of resorting to prohibited weapons, which would be followed by the implementation of the so-called 'Syrian scenario', whereby a state is subjected to economic and political isolation, as well as exclusion from international organisations, including the UN Security Council”, said Igor Kirillov.

In line with those scenarios, the mechanism for investigating facts of the alleged use of biological weapons by Russia during its special operation in Ukraine would be sanctioned by the UN secretary-general.
"In areas of hostilities where representatives of NATO countries are not allowed access, it is planned to involve representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided with means of protection and monitoring equipment", added Kirillov.
It was emphasised at the briefing that the goal of such a scenario would likely be to put pressure on countries such as China and India, which have resisted Western attempts to join the sweeping sanctions campaign targeting Russia.
According to the lieutenant general, the rapid seizure of evidence at the scene of the planned incident (collection of samples, interviewing witnesses, assembling photo and video documentation) will be of fundamental importance.
Igor Kirillov referenced how on numerous occasions in the past, the US has similarly resorted to provocations to achieve political goals.

“The most striking example… is the speech of then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell on February 5, 2003. A vial of 'white powder' in his hands served as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq and the cause of the death of almost half a million civilians", he said.

Kirillov cited other examples, such as how photographs spread by news agencies in 2017 showing people wearing ordinary gauze masks taking samples at a site of alleged sarin use led to a missile attack on the Shayrat airfield controlled by the Syrian government.
Likewise, how on 14 April 2018, the US, France, and UK launched missile strikes on Syria, in response to an alleged poison gas attack on the terrorist stronghold Douma, for which they held the Syrian government responsible.
Rumours about a chemical attack started with videos and photos disseminated on social media by the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, among others, of children ostensibly being treated in a hospital with respiratory problems.
However, "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties", the OPCW report on the Douma incident later read.
People stand in front of damaged buildings, in the town of Douma, the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, near Damascus, Syria, Monday, April 16, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.04.2020
Syria: Fake Attack, Real Deaths
"To date, no one has been held accountable for these provocations", underscored Kirillov.
On 21 April, Ukraine dropped a container with ampoules from a UAV onto the position of Russian forces, said Igor Kirillov. It was planned that a chemical reaction would occur causing an explosion and fire with the release of toxic substances. According to the MoD, the contents of the ampoules are currently undergoing chemical analysis at a scientific research centre of the Russian Defence Ministry, accredited with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with the findings to be forwarded to its technical secretariat
Kirillov noted at the MoD briefing on Saturday that since March, Western countries have been regularly making provocative statements about the possibility of Russia using weapons of mass destruction.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United States of America Anatoly Antonov during a briefing at the State Duma of the Russian Federation in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.04.2022
Actions of the West in Ukraine Could Lead to 'Military Confrontation' Between US & Russia - Antonov
Kirillov also denounced as "absurd" CIA Director William Burns' statement about Russia possibly using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. It would simply be impossible to conceal the use of such weapons, bearing in mind the modern level of technical equipment of the international system for nuclear test monitoring, underscored the general.

"If the CIA director doesn't understand this, then he is either unprofessional or he is being misled", Kirillov added.

In order to falsely accuse Russia, Kiev is also seriously considering carrying out missile strikes on the storage of radioactive waste at the site of the former chemical plant in the village of Kamenskoye, Dnepropetrovsk region, said the MoD.

"The Ministry of Defence has a document confirming the critical state of storage facilities and misappropriation of funds allocated by the European Union for the maintenance of the facility", Kirillov stated.

Russia started a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against continued attacks by Ukrainian forces. Russia underscored that the aim of its special operation is to target only military infrastructure, and has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.
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