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Ukraine is allegedly preparing a provocation with chemical weapons

Propagandists are spreading a new statement in the Russian media and anonymous telegram channels that spread pro-Russian rhetoric that Ukraine, according to them, is preparing a provocation using chemical weapons. A screenshot of a “document” in which “results of research into means of injury using toxic substances” were allegedly published, is, according to propagandists, proof of the preparation of this provocation. “Ukraine cannot do anything on the battlefield, so they are increasingly using terrorist tactics”, explains the so-called propaganda. The circulated document talks about testing the “tactical and technical characteristics of the Phosgene”, “VX” wound weapons and the “hardware and software complex for simulating the infection of “Lily” and “St. John’s wort”, which, according to them, were attached to the drones during testing. However, this is fake.

StopFake specialists turned to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for comment, where they refuted this Russian fake. In addition, the fact that the document is fake is also indicated by errors in the text, which are often found in such fakes - missing words, incorrect spelling of words, missing commas in the text. The “document” itself as a whole does not meet all the requirements for preparing such reports. In the text itself, where, according to them, the results of the study should have been indicated, there are no results, except that “the research was successful”.

This is not the first time Russia has tried to accuse Ukraine of using chemical weapons on the battlefield, but previous “evidence” was also refuted and did not have reliable evidence. The Armed Forces of Ukraine noted in a commentary to Reuters that the Ukrainian army has never used chemical weapons anywhere, unlike the Russian ones. Ukraine is a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction. In the 1990s, the entire chemical arsenal that was transferred to Ukraine from the USSR, recorded by international observers, was destroyed.

There is some evidence that Russia uses chemical weapons during combat operations against the enemy, although it announced the destruction of its arsenal of these weapons back in 2017. After the collapse of the USSR, it was Russia that became the heir to the world's largest arsenal of chemical weapons (about 40 thousand tons), including mustard gas, phosgene, lewisite and VX. The Novachok nerve gas was used by Russian intelligence services in the UK against former spy Serhii Skrypal, as well as opposition leader Oleksii Navalnyi. The use of chemical weapons, including sarin and chlorine, has been repeatedly recorded in the war in Syria, where Russia supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad through a special operation. And then Russia also actively denied the use of chemical weapons and conducted disinformation campaigns.

At the end of January 2024, a representative of the Ukrainian Center for the Study of Captured and Advanced Weapons and Military Equipment of the General Staff of Ukraine, Captain Andrii Rudyk, said that the Russian military began using RG-Vo grenades with chloroacetophenone, a type of tear gas used to combat demonstrations. The General Staff also said that on December 14, Russian troops began using a new type of special gas grenade containing CS gas, and that Russian troops used chemical weapons at least 51 times during the first two weeks of 2024. Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have recorded 626 cases of Russian use of ammunition loaded with toxic chemicals. Previously, Ukraine recorded cases of artillery attacks using chemical agents in August 2023 and the use of irritant aerosols and grenades near Avdiivka in the Donetsk region in May 2023.

Propagandists spread such fakes in order to shift responsibility from the aggressor to the victim of the situation and avoid responsibility in general. Detector Media has already written about what other fake propagandists are coming up with about the use of chemical weapons.

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