British armed forces minister James Heappey warned on Tuesday that if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine, all options would be considered. On Monday, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said the country was working with its allies to verify the facts of accusations that Russian troops used chemical weapons in an assault on Mariupol, where hundreds are estimated to have perished during a nearly seven-week siege.
“Some things are beyond the pale,” Heappey told Sky News, “and the use of chemical weapons will have a reaction, and all options are on the table for what that response may be.”
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, has expressed fear that Russian troops are preparing a “new stage of horror” in Ukraine, which might include the deployment of chemical weapons.
On Monday, Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov volunteer unit, stated that three persons in the southern port city had been poisoned by warfare chemicals, but that there had been no disastrous effects.
Some observers, on the other hand, are sceptical that the evidence pointed to a chemical weapons strike. It’s too soon to tell for sure what occurred, but one expert warned that based on the information thus far, it’s still unclear if chemicals, much alone chemical weapons, were employed.
According to a senior US defense source, the US cannot corroborate accusations that chemical weapons were used in Mariupol.
Civilians have left eastern Ukraine ahead of a widely expected invasion, while Russian soldiers are closing in on the ruins of Mariupol in the south. Ukrainian military was preparing for a fresh Russian onslaught in the country’s east, with Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai advising inhabitants to flee as quickly as possible through agreed-upon humanitarian corridors.
According to Vadym Boichenko, the mayor of Mariupol, about 21,000 civilians have been murdered in the Ukrainian port city since the beginning of the Russian assault.
According to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the commander of the Donetsk regional military administration, the death toll in Mariupol might be as high as 22,000 people.
Caritas, a Catholic organization, has confirmed that two of its employees and five of their family were slain in Mariupol. Caritas said it couldn’t tell for sure what occurred, but that the two female staff members “and their family sought cover in the centre during the bombardment” on March 15.
According to the mayor of Bucha, a Ukrainian town near Kyiv, officials have discovered 403 remains of persons thought to have been executed by Russian soldiers during their takeover of the region.
Anatoliy Fedoruk claimed the number was still rising and that it was too early for inhabitants to return to the town.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, claimed Ukraine had broken the commitments reached at a peace summit in Istanbul and that the discussions had come to a “dead end.”
When questioned about Putin’s remarks, Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, stated that discussions with the Russians were difficult but that they were ongoing.
Putin also said that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was moving according to plan, and that Russia’s goal in Ukraine was to achieve all of its objectives while minimizing casualties.
Following a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart, Aleksandr Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the conclusion of the military operation is dependent on the severity of the combat.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, a renowned Russian opposition activist and vocal opponent of the invasion of Ukraine, was sentenced to 15 days in prison in Moscow on allegations of defying police instructions while leaving his residence.