After three weeks of fighting in Ukraine, Russia may be preparing to use chemical weapons on its besieged neighbor. This warning comes from U.S., N.A.T.O., and other world sources after Russia made “absurd claims about biological labs and chemical weapons in Ukraine,” according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) March 9, 2022
Stoltenberg said in a press conference yesterday, “This is just another lie. And we are concerned that Moscow could stage a false flag operation, possibly including chemical weapons.” Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet today with defense ministers from other NATO countries.
Earlier this week, the Defense Ministry of Russia’s spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, made the claim that Ukraine was preparing to deploy “poisonous substances” in an attack against Russia. Konashenkov said that the intended outcome of the “provocation” was to blame Russia for using chemical weapons.
White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, responded to Russia’s claim: “To be clear: this is preposterous”. She warned that following Russia’s accusation, “we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false-flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern, and no one should fall for it”.
The term “false flag operation” refers to when one side of a conflict commits an act while deliberately and deceitfully blaming another side for the act. The purpose of a false flag operation is typically to create mistrust of one’s enemy, build sympathy for one’s own side, or to create a false public narrative used to justify a “retaliation”.
Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, stated that Russia’s claim that the US and Ukraine intend to use chemical weapons “is a tell” that the Kremlin may have their own plans to use chemical weapons. “It is a very legitimate concern, fear that Russia would use chemical weapons in Ukraine,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan continued, “They’re right now accusing the United States and Ukrainians and potentially using chemical and biological weapons which is a tell, it’s a tell that they themselves may be preparing to do so, and then trying to pin the blame on someone else”. He added that this is “a classic page out of the Russian playbook.”
Late last week, President Joe Biden said that Moscow would “pay a severe price” for deploying chemical weapons in Ukraine.