Ukrainian Forces Using Drone-Dropped Chemical Weapons in Donbass, DPR Chief Says
09:44 GMT 06.02.2023 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 09.02.2023)
Donbass People's Militias and Russia's regular Army began finding evidence of suspected Ukrainian preparations to employ chemical weapons last spring. Kiev and its Western sponsors have issued counterclaims, accusing Russia of using or preparing to use its non-existent chemical weapons stocks.
Ukrainian forces have resorted to the use of chemical weapons in the Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) and Ugledar directions on the front line in the Donbass, Donetsk People's Republic head Denis Pushilin has announced.
"According to the statements of our forces, and commanders who came forward with such information, there are facts of the use of chemical compounds causing sickness among our servicemen not only in the Artyomovsk direction, but also in the Ugledar direction," Pushilin said in an interview with Russian media on Monday.
Pushilin said he has been receiving such reports for at least three weeks now. "They are dropping [chemical weapons] from drones on the locations of our forces," the DPR head clarified.
Earlier in the day, Yan Gagin, an advisor to Pushilin, similarly told Russian media about the employment of chemical agents by the Ukrainian side, and said the agents being used were causing severe dizziness, nausea, and vomiting among some fighters.
Gagin indicated that chemical weapons
have been used by the Ukrainian side for some time now, with attacks happening "along the entire front line as substances causing nausea, choking and coughing," and the chemicals being "sprayed from special containers installed on drones."
According to the World Health Organization, symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and coughing may be signs
of exposure to potentially deadly nerve agents.
The official said some Ukrainian troops have been openly boasting of their possession of these illegal weapons online, posting videos of specially-designed drones and imported gas grenades on social media. Gagin urged for information about the use of these illegal weapons to be systematically gathered and sent to the United Nations.
15 January 2023, 03:40 GMT
Russian and Donbass forces began reporting on Ukraine's alleged plans to use chemical weapons last spring. At the Army-2022 expo outside Moscow last year, the Russian military demonstrated DJI Agras T30 unmanned aerial vehicles captured in Mariupol, as well as protective equipment including gas masks sent to Kiev by Germany and the Czech Republic as military aid. DJI drones are purpose-built for use in agriculture, and feature sprayer equipment as well as onboard cameras and navigation equipment.
In addition to concerns about chemical weapons being deployed against Russian troops, Moscow has regularly expressed concerns
about these arms' potential use in provocations
against critical infrastructure and civilians by Kiev to accuse Russia of war crimes.
14 January 2023, 03:13 GMT
Along with chemical weapons, the Russian military has regularly briefed
officials, the public, and the international community on extensive US-funded and run pathogen research
and bioweapons programs in Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia are signatories to the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention
, with these treaties designed to severely restrict both countries' military biological and chemical weapons research and stockpiling activities. Russia dismantled the last of its Soviet-era chemical weapons stocks in 2017. Ukraine also had no declared
chemical weapons stocks at this time.