Experts – on the possible use of chemical weapons in Mariupol: The West would have to react

A Azov regiment said Monday night that a Russian-run drone had used unknown material over the city to cause severe respiratory problems to the affected soldiers and civilian population.

Andrius Bileckis, commander of the Azov regiment, said in a video released on the Telegram channel that Russian forces had used a chemical weapon at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, which was guarded by soldiers from his regiment. According to A. Bileckis, three soldiers were injured during the chemical attack. Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, says information about the use of chemical weapons is being checked.

Azov is the only source of this information. The city does not employ independent and credible journalists, so this report is still difficult to confirm. However, there have been repeated warnings in the past that Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine.

15min D. Šlekys said that this situation could cause a dilemma for the West.

“Mariupol is so cut off and communication is stalled, it can be difficult to determine whether and to what extent the attack really took place. Western leaders have warned there will be consequences if a chemical weapon is used. On the other hand, there is some such communication with Mariupol, information on the use of chemical weapons may be provided. ” 15min D. Šlekys said late Monday evening.

Photo by Luke April / 15 minutes / David Šlekys

According to him, “such actions would not be surprising for Russia itself, especially when everyone was talking about a newly appointed commander who has to show that he can do something.”

Former Commander of Lithuanian Military Intelligence, Reserve Colonel G. Bagdon 15min claimed that the use of chemical weapons would be another war crime that the West could not leave unanswered.

“It simply came to our notice then. If the Russian forces had actually used a chemical weapon, it would be another war crime, a very serious one that transcends all boundaries. Western countries would have to react “, 15min Bagdon said.

Amber Bagdon

Amber Bagdon

In response to information published by the Azov Regiment, Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas wrote on Facebook: “As it was predicted, Russia will use all means in a hurry to achieve at least local military achievements.”

15min Recalls Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the self-proclaimed military leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic, which is attacking Mariupol with Russian forces, said earlier that “chemical forces were needed” to storm Azovstal, an Azov soldier.

“There are underground floors, so there is no point in storming this object. Because many of our soldiers could be killed and the enemy would not suffer. (…) So now we have to take care of blocking this factory, finding all the exits and entrances. And after that, I think we should turn to the chemical forces, which will find a way to scrape them, “said Basurin.

Russia appointed General Alexander Dvornikov to lead the invasion of Ukraine a few days ago. He played an important role in the Syrian war and has been accused of ill-treating civilians, and the West has warned that he could take war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Ukrainians as well.

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix nuotr./Mariupolis

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix nuotr./Mariupolis

Riho Terras, an Estonian MEP and former commander of the Estonian army, warned that the West’s “concerns” would not be enough in the event of a chemical attack.

“The West has promised serious consequences for the use of chemical weapons. “Now is the time to deliver on those promises, otherwise we will only be seen as a” worrying “power that still allows Ukrainian civilians to die,” he said.

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