Ukraine Claims Russian Forces Used Chemical Weapons In Mariupol

As the war rages in the east of Ukraine, Mariupol deputy mayor alleged that Russian forces have used chemical weapons in the besieged southern port city.

The Azov battalion, a pro-far right Ukrainian military unit, said its fighters suffered minor injuries, including suffocation, following the attack on Monday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned the possibility should be taken seriously, while the United States and Britain said any such attack had not been confirmed.

“Before today, there was credible information available to us that the Russians may have been preparing to use agents, chemical agents, potentially tear gas mixed with other agents, as part of an effort to weaken, to incapacitate the Ukrainian military and civilian elements that are entrenched in Mariupol, using these agents as part of an effort to weaken those defenses,” CNN quoted U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price as saying on Monday.

“We shared that information with our Ukrainian partners. We are going to be in direct conversations with them to try and determine what exactly has transpired here, and as soon as we gain additional fidelity, we’ll be in a better position to say what this was or what this may have been,” he added.

Ukrainian officials claimed to have destroyed a Russian weapons depot in Novoaidar, near a Russian settlement in the Luhansk region.

Both sides are reportedly building up their military forces in Donbas as Moscow switches the focus of its offensive to the eastern Ukrainian region.

At least 186 children lost their lives and 344 others were injured in the more than one month-old war, the Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office said on Telegram.

UNICEF estimates that nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children – some 4.8 million – have fled their homes so far.

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