US Accuses Russia Of Violating International Chemical Weapons Ban In Ukraine | World News

The United States on Wednesday claimed that Russia is violating the international chemical weapons ban. The US accused Russia of using, chloropicrin, a chocking agent on Ukrainian military and using riot control agents “as a method of warfare” in Ukraine. 

“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,” reported Reuters quoting the US State Department statement. Russia has violated the Chemical Weapons Convention’s (CWC) ban on employing riot control agents as a means of warfare, according to the statement. 

As per Reuters, the Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately responded to a request for comment, regarding these allegations. 

What is Chloropicrin? 

Last used during World War I, Chloropicrin has been designated as a prohibited choking agent by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), headquartered in The Hague. This organization was established to enforce and oversee adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 1993. During World War I, German forces deployed this gas against Allied troops, marking one of the earliest instances of chemical warfare. 

While civilians typically can evade riot control gases during protests, soldiers confined to trenches without protective masks must either retreat amidst enemy gunfire or face the possibility of suffocation. 

Use Of Chemical Weapons 

As per a report by Reuters published earlier this month, The Ukrainian military claimed that Russia has intensified its offensive by upping its illegal use of riot control agents while advancing in eastern Ukraine.  

Alongside chloropicrin, Russian troops are reported to have employed grenades containing CS and CN gases. The Ukrainian military claims that over 500 of its soldiers have required treatment due to exposure to these toxic substances, with one casualty reportedly resulting from suffocation due to tear gas. 

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The CWC prohibits making and using chemical weapons. It also tells all 193 countries that signed it, including Russia and the U.S., to get rid of any banned chemicals they have.

The State Department was supposed to tell the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), its determination that Russia broke the CWC.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for breaking the rules in meetings at the OPCW. But the OPCW says it hasn’t been asked to start looking into the use of banned stuff in Ukraine. 

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