The Americans believe a provocation won’t be properly investigated due to the fighting, Russian military alleges.
The US is preparing to stage false flag chemical attacks in Ukraine to pin the blame on Moscow for the use of banned toxic agents, the chief of Russia’s Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense troops, Igor Kirillov, has said.
The Americans believe that the international community wouldn’t be able to organize an effective investigation of such “provocations” due to the fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, which would allow Washington to escape responsibility, Kirillov said during a briefing on Tuesday.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has obtained information that a train with a cargo of chemical substances in one of its cars had apparently arrived in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Kramatorsk in Donbass on February 10, the commander said.
The 16 metal boxes with special markings that suggest they contained BZ (3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate) incapacitating agent as well as CS (chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile) and CR (dibenzoxazepine) harassing ‘riot-control’ agents, were accompanied by the “citizens of foreign nations,” he also alleged.
According to Kirillov, the chemicals were unloaded at a local metallurgical plant under the supervision of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) and put on US-supplied armored vehicles that later moved out towards a contact as part of a convoy.
Russia also found out that eleven cars with specially marked shrapnel ammunition were unloaded in Kramatorsk on February 19, the commander said. The shells of this type had been previously upgraded in the US to be able to deliver harassing chemical substances, he added.
NATO has also planned a large delivery of means of chemical protection to Ukraine, including hundreds of antidotes for various toxic substances, Kirillov is also alleging.
“The facts of simultaneous delivery of toxic chemicals and means of protection against them indicate an attempt to carry out large-scale provocations using the BZ military-grade psychoactive chemical agent during the conflict,” he said.
Despite announcing the depletion of all of its stocks of BZ back in 1990, the US had preserved samples of the toxic agent –which causes acute psychosis, disorientation, hallucinations and memory impairment– and it maintains the capability to produce the substance in significant quantities, the commander claimed.
If a provocation with the use of chemical weapons is carried out in Donbass, “the true culprits will be identified and held accountable,” Kirillov warned.
Russian forces in the area have all the means to promptly detect the use of toxic agents and to contain such incidents, he assured Tuesday’s briefing, adding that they can identify not just the forbidden substance that’s being employed but also the country where it was produced.
Chemical warfare is forbidden under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 1997, to which the US, Ukraine and Russia are all signatories. The document bans their militaries from using even riot-control agents or tear gas, despite them being allowed in law enforcement.
Update 1March2023: The Russian Foreign Ministry has called attention to claims about possible delivery of Californium-252
International organizations should take a look at reports of highly radioactive material being delivered to Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday. Maria Zakharova voiced concerns that the alleged shipment happened near Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region. Ukraine has been “deliberately stirring up tension” in the area, she said.
According to unconfirmed claims that appeared on social media last week, a ship carrying containers of Californium-252, a synthetic radioactive element, arrived in Odessa on February 19. It was also claimed that the radioactive monitoring system was turned off during the offloading process. Zakharova mentioned reports that the cargo was supplied by the Ohio-based company Frontier Technology Corporation.
The spokeswoman also mentioned allegations that, on February 16, unspecified radioactive material was delivered to the port city of Chernomorsk, near Odessa, “from the territory of one of the European countries.” Allegedly the supposed delivery was not subjected to customs control.
“We call on the appropriate international organizations to pay close attention to this information,” Zakharova said.
The Moldovan government, meanwhile, said it was “not commenting on lies and speculation” regarding Transnistria. It added that its authorities were monitoring the situation and stated they “do not confirm the information disseminated by the Russian side.”
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Kiev of planning to invade Transnistria, whose population is largely Russian-speaking and where Russian peacekeepers are stationed. Both Ukraine and Moldova denied these allegations at the time.
Frontier Technology Corporation produces Californium-252 neutron sources and containers designed to transport radioactive material. Californium-252 is used in scanners and for fission in nuclear reactors, as well as for cancer treatment and geological surveys, according to the company’s website.
Last year, Moscow alleged that Ukraine was preparing to detonate a “dirty bomb,” which is typically understood as a conventional munition with radioactive elements. Kiev rejected the claim.