Ukraine Alleges Drone Dropped Chemical Weapons in Mariupol

A verified Twitter account of a United Kingdom government official tweeted an allegation that Russia forces have used chemical weapons in an attack on the city or Mariupol.

U.K. Member of Parliament Liz Truss tweeted Monday night:

“Reports that Russian forces may have used chemical agents in an attack on the people of Mariupol. We are working urgently with partners to verify details. Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict, and we will hold Putin and his regime to account.”

The allegation came from the National Guard of Ukraine, the Azov Regiment, which posted on social media that an unmanned aerial vehicle dropped chemicals of an “unknown origin.”

“About an hour ago, Russian occupation forces used a poisonous substance of unknown origin against Ukrainian military and civilians in the city of Mariupol, which was dropped from an enemy UAV,” the Azov Regiment’s Telegram post read Monday, according to Newsweek. “The victims have respiratory failure, vestibulo-atactic syndrome. The consequences of using an unknown substance are being clarified.”

Newsmax cannot independently verify the veracity of these breaking allegations, but the use of chemical weapons has been a red line for NATO and the U.S.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last month use of chemical weapons is a “blatant violation of international law with far-reaching consequences.”

Also, President Joe Biden had responded to a reporter’s question earlier this year, saying any use of chemical weapons by Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Ukraine would be met with a response “in kind.”

Ukraine Member of Parliament Solomiia Bobrovska, the secretary on the foreign affairs committee, is calling on NATO and Biden to respond to the reports of chemical weapons use by Russia, tweeting:

“The #Azov Batallion informs Russia it has used an unknown chemical substance against defenders of #Mariupol and civilians. @POTUS @NATO you announced a strong reaction should Russia use chemical weapons. Time to act NOW. #PutinIsaWarCriminal #PutinWarCriminal #Ukraine #Russia”

And then adding in an ensuing tweet:

“So-called ‘peoples’ militia of DPR’ announced earlier this day the use of chemical weapons to ‘smoke out’ defenders of Mariupol out of the Azovstal plant. This is a #WarCrime and #genocide against #Ukraine and its people. Russians are the new #Nazi of our time #UkraineRussiaWar”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine and called on the West to impose strong sanctions on Moscow that would deter even talk of the use of such weapons.

“We treat this with the utmost seriousness,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address Monday. He did not say chemical weapons had already been used.

“I would like to remind world leaders that the possible use of chemical weapons by the Russian military has already been discussed. And already at that time it meant that it was necessary to react to the Russian aggression much harsher and faster.”

Petro Andryushchenko, an aide to the mayor of Mariupol, wrote on his Telegram channel that reports about a chemical attack had not been confirmed, and he expected to provide details and clarifications later.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the United States was aware of the reports.

“We cannot confirm at this time and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Kirby said. “These reports, if true, are deeply concerning and reflective of concerns that we have had about Russia’s potential to use a variety of riot control agents, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents in Ukraine.”

The Russian invasion, which has killed thousands and displaced millions, has shifted from the gates of Kyiv to the east of Ukraine, with a huge offensive expected there. The European Union said Monday that more sanctions on Russia are an option.

“It is time to make this package in such a way that we would not hear even words about weapons of mass destruction from the Russian side,” Zelenskyy said. “An oil embargo against Russia is a must. Any new package of sanctions against Russia that does not affect oil will be received in Moscow with a smile.”