Ukraine accuses Russia of using chemical weapons in Mariupol, says it's investigating possible use of phosphorus

Denying the claim, a spokesman for Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine said that using chemical weapons to uproot Ukrainian troops in the port city of Mariupol, AP reported.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 02:50 PM IST
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Photo: Twitter/@AFP

Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russia of using chemical weapons in the besieged port city of Mariupol after reports emerged that people in the area have developed respiratory issues.

Ukrainian MP Ivanna Klympush tweeted late on Monday that an "unknown substance" had been used in the city of Mariupol,

A Ukrainian unit defending Mariupol claimed without providing evidence that a drone had dropped a poisonous substance on its positions.

Ukraine's Azov battalion in a Telegram message earlier on Monday had claimed a Russian drone dropped a "poisonous substance" on Ukrainian troops and civilians in Mariupol, as per AFP reports.

"Three people have clear signs of poisoning by warfare chemicals, but without catastrophic consequences," he said in a video address on Telegram.

Ukraine is checking unverified information that Russia may have used chemical weapons, Ukraine's Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

"There is a theory that these could be phosphorous munitions," Malyar said in televised comments

Denying the claim, a spokesman for Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine said that using chemical weapons to uproot Ukrainian troops in the port city of Mariupol, AP reported.

"Separatist forces haven’t used any chemical weapons in Mariupol haven't been used," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Eduard Basurin as saying on Tuesday.

Basurin’s comments followed his statement on Russian state TV after a pro-Russian general in Donbas earlier suggested the idea, telling state media it would "smoke the Ukrainian moles out of the underground".

Slamming Russia's actions in Ukraine, the United Kingdom Tuesday said it was trying to verify reports Moscow used chemical weapons Monday night in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

A UK minister warned Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons by Russia in its attacks on Ukraine "will get a response and all options are on the table," AFP reported.

The US has also raised concerns over the possible chemical weapon that could have been used by Russia in its attack on Ukraine.

"The Pentagon was closely monitoring reports Monday evening of a possible Russian chemical weapons attack on the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol," CNBC quoted Defense Department press secretary John Kirby as saying.

Russia has denied committing any war crimes during its military operations in Ukraine.

(with agency inputs)

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