Monday, July 6, 2020

Ukraine has seen evidence of Russia preparing chemical weapons in Donbas

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A representative of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence directorate said on Saturday that Ukrainian source had information that Russia was planning to use of chemical weapons for accusing the Ukrainian military.

According to him, the Russian Federation plans to fake chemicals weapons attacks in separatist-held parts of Donbas to discredit Ukraine internationally.

“At present, the [Ukrainian] military intelligence has seen a number of signs indicating that Russia has been preparing an act of subversive and terrorist acts with the use of chemical toxic substances… In the middle of December, a group of Russian specialists in chemical, military and toxic substances arrived in Donbas. The group included Russian special services agents and agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB),” Defense Department intelligence directorate representative Vadym Skybytsky said at a briefing in Kyiv on Saturday, December 29.

Skybytsky said the pro-Russian separatists and occupation forces in Donbas have been preparing for operations under conditions of chemical contamination. Chemical protective clothing and equipment for Russia-led armed formations have been imported from Russia.

“At the same time, the Russian special services are cynically counting on large-scale civilian casualties, which will ensure a certain response and attention from the international community,” Skybytsky said, adding the disaster would be presented by Russian propagandists as the use of chemical weapons by Ukrainian armed forces against the residents of Donbas.

Russia is trying to use its entire arsenal of information and political propaganda to discredit Ukraine before the international community, Skybytsky said.

He said a similar scheme had been used by Russia before a chemical attack in the Aleppo area in Syria.

But Ukrainian side did not offer any proof for that assertion.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions has killed more than 10,000 people since it flared in mid-April 2014.

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