A Russian military official said the United States was preparing “provocations” so it could accuse Moscow of using weapons of mass destruction.
The Tass news agency reported that Igor Kirillov said the alleged US plan was a response to the “success” of Russian troops in invading Ukraine.
“The Russian Ministry of Defense has information on the preparation by the United States of America of provocations to accuse the Russian armed forces of using chemical, biological or tactical nuclear weapons,” he said.
He told a press conference that “for the year 2022 alone, at the request of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, more than 220,000 ampoules containing atropine [small vials of medicine] were delivered from the United States.”
Atropine is used to treat certain types of nerve agent and pesticide poisoning. It is unclear where the deliveries had gone.
He said the United States had devised at least three scenarios to blame Russia, with provocations most likely in Kharkiv, kyiv and Zaporizhzhia, where there is a nuclear power plant, state media Sputnik reported.
The US State Department has already determined how an investigation into the use of WMDs would proceed, he added.
Kirillov, who heads the Russian military’s radiological, chemical and biological defense forces, said that since the start of the war in Ukraine, Western leaders “regularly make provocative statements about the possibility that Russia uses weapons of mass destruction.
He then referred to comments US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield made on February 27 that Russia planned to use chemical and biological weapons in a scythe attack. flag in Ukraine.
She had responded to Russian claims that the United States had funded biological weapons research in Ukraine involving dangerous infections using migratory birds.
The claims of his Russian counterpart at the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, have been dismissed internationally and by experts.
But Kirillov said the United States was inspired by a playbook it used in the 2003 Iraq war, when then-Secretary of State Colin Powell produced “a test tube with washing powder”. He said it was used as “a pretext for the invasion of Iraq and the death of almost half a million citizens”.
Kirillov also made statements about sarin attacks used in the Syrian conflict in 2017, which Damascus and Moscow strongly disputed but led to US missile attacks on Sharyat airfield.
“No one has been held responsible for these provocations,” Kirrillov said.
Ukraine has previously said Russia is making false flag charges that are a projection of what Moscow wants to do. In March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “If you want to know what Russia’s plans are, look at what Russia is accusing others of.”
Kirillov’s comments come after Russia was accused of using chemical weapons in the southeastern city of Mariupol on April 11. The Azov Regiment, a unit of Ukraine’s National Guard, claimed the chemicals were dropped via an unmanned aerial vehicle. Newsweek could not independently verify the claims.
Newsweek contacted the US State Department and Ukrainian Foreign Ministry for comment.