Britain is checking to see if Russia has used Chemical Weapons in Mariupol

Ukraine | April 12, 2022, Tuesday // 11:20|  views

Britain is trying to verify reports that Russia used chemical weapons in an attack on the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Foreign Minister Liz Truss said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia could use chemical weapons against his country, but did not specify whether this has happened so far.

Russia is gathering tens of thousands of troops in a bid to step up its offensive in eastern Ukraine, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He warned that Moscow could use chemical weapons in his country.

An oil embargo against Russia is needed, Zelensky stressed, calling for further tough sanctions.

Ukraine does not have the weapons it needs to save Mariupol, which the Russian armed forces are about to take, Zelensky said.

“We are not ready to give up our country and we have already made many sacrifices. We will defend our territory while we can.”

“Mariupol has been destroyed. There are tens of thousands killed there. But the Russians did not stop the offensive. There is no hope that Russia will decide to end the war on its own. It must be forced to do so,” he said.

A representative of the local authorities in Mariupol wrote in the Telegram that he could not confirm the reports of a chemical attack in the city, which appeared yesterday. The battle for control of the key port continues. Ukraine’s Azov regiment said on April 11 that Russia had used a poisonous substance against Ukrainian troops in Mariupol. Azov leader Andriy Biletsky said that three people have clear signs of chemical poisoning. He added that there are no “disastrous consequences” for their health. The claim followed a call by Russia’s proxies in the Donbas to use chemical weapons against Azov. If confirmed, this is the first known use of chemical weapons by Russia during its aggression against Ukraine. Western leaders have pledged to step up their response to Russian aggression in case of a chemical attack. Azov said that the poisonous substance had been distributed by a drone. Its victims have shortness of breath and vestibullocerebellar ataxia, the regiment said. Earlier on April 11, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for Russia’s proxies in Donetsk, made a statement on Russia’s attempts to capture Mariupol’s well-fortified Azovstal steel mill, which is held by Azov. Mariupol has been besieged by Russia since late February. “There are underground floors (at Azovstal), and that’s why it makes no sense to storm this object now,” he said. “We could have a lot of our soldiers killed, and the enemy won’t suffer casualties. That’s why currently we should figure out how to block this mill and find all ways in and out. And after that we should ask our chemical forces to find a way to smoke these moles out of their holes.”

Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov denied reports that Ukrainian munitions were running low and that they were preparing for a “final battle”.

Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defense said in its latest intelligence update on Tuesday that intense fighting is expected in eastern Ukraine in the coming weeks. “Fighting in eastern Ukraine will intensify over the next two to three weeks as Russia continues to redirect its efforts there,” the ministry said, adding that Russian troops were withdrawing from Belarus to move to that part of Ukraine.

The ministry also claims that “Russian attacks remain focused on Ukrainian positions near Donetsk and Luhansk, with further fighting around Kherson and Mykolaiv and renewed pressure on Kramatorsk.”

The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said his forces controlled the port of Mariupol and in turn, made accusations against Ukrainian forces:

“The territory of the Donetsk People's Republic has come under daily fire from armed groups in Ukraine. Residential neighborhoods in Donetsk and other cities are under fire and the civilian population is suffering.”

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that Moscow would not suspend its military operation for the next rounds of peace talks, as it did in February. Russia accuses the West of failing to negotiate and denies committing war crimes during its offensive in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said more than 4,300 people had been evacuated through humanitarian corridors yesterday. According to her, more than 1,000 civilians and more than 700 servicemen have been detained in prisons in Russia or by pro-Russian separatists. Russia says it provides everything necessary for prisoners of war under international law.

To date, nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed to evacuate civilians from the country's dangerous areas, including evacuating cars from the Russian-besieged port city of Mariupol.

Five of the agreed green corridors are in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, which Ukrainian officials say is under heavy fire.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's conversation with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer was “short”, the Kremlin said. The chancellor pointed out that his most important message to Putin was about ending the war in Ukraine, as there are only losers on both sides during hostilities.

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Tags: chemical, weapons, Mariupol, Ukraine


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