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Ukraine investigates claim accusing Russia of using phosphorus munitions

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Ukraine Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the government was checking unverified information that Russia may have used phosphorus munitions while attacking Mariupol. The city has endured some of the most notable attacks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. On Monday, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said officials have estimated more than 20,000 deaths in the city.

“The part of the city occupied by the Russian army has been closed off and they are collecting these bodies and we understand where they are being compiled to hide evidence of their crimes,” Boychenko said. “We now understand why they did not allow any humanitarian mission…they did not want to show what they have done to it, especially the thousands of killed Mariupolites who carpeted through the streets of our city.”

While phosphorus munitions aren’t technically recognized as chemical weapons, the investigation has heightened concerns Russia will use chemical weapons in the Donbas region of Ukraine. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia “had no other choice” but to launch what he called a “special military operation” in the region.

“One of the Russian occupiers’ speakers said that they might use chemical weapons against defenders of Mariupol,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a warning Monday. Clips from the warning is included in the video of above. “I’d like to remind the world leaders that Russia’s possible use of chemical weapons has been already discussed. At that moment, it meant that the reaction to the Russian aggression had to be much more severe and faster.”

Officials around the world began reacting to the reports of potential chemical weapon use in Ukraine Tuesday, with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne describing them as “extremely concerning.” Some of those reactions are included in the video above.British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey emphasized that “people will be held to account” if chemical weapons are used.

“I think it’s useful to maintain some ambiguity over exactly what the response would be,” Heappey said. “But let’s be clear, if they are used at all, then (Russian) President Putin should know that all possible options are on the table in terms of how the West might respond.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President: “One of the Russian occupiers’ speakers said that they might use chemical weapons against defenders of Mariupol. We consider it very seriously. I’d like to remind the world leaders that Russia’s possible use of chemical weapons has been already discussed. At that moment, it meant that the reaction to the Russian aggression had to be much more severe and faster.”

Marise Payne, Australian Foreign Minister: “There are extremely concerning reports out of Ukraine this morning in relation to the use of chemical weapons by Russia. If they are confirmed, that will be a further wholesale breach of international law. A further indication of President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia’s absolute violation of every single value and every single rules-based aspect of the rules based global order, which has stood us in such good stead for so many decades now. Australia, will be working with our counterparts to determine the veracity of these reports, and we’ll have more to say on that later.”

James Heappey, British Armed Forces Minister: “These are appalling weapons to even think about using. The fact that they are part of the discussion is deeply sobering. It’s not just the president of the United States, the president of France, and our own prime minister have also been clear that there are weapons that simply should not be used. And if they are used, people will be held to account. I think it’s useful to maintain some ambiguity over exactly what the response would be. But let’s be clear, if they are used at all, then (Russian) President Putin should know that all possible options are on the table in terms of how the West might respond.”

 

 

Ukraine Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the government was checking unverified information that Russia may have used phosphorus munitions while attacking Mariupol. The city has endured some of the most notable attacks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. On Monday, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said officials have estimated more than 20,000 deaths in the city.

“The part of the city occupied by the Russian army has been closed off and they are collecting these bodies and we understand where they are being compiled to hide evidence of their crimes,” Boychenko said. “We now understand why they did not allow any humanitarian mission…they did not want to show what they have done to it, especially the thousands of killed Mariupolites who carpeted through the streets of our city.”

While phosphorus munitions aren’t technically recognized as chemical weapons, the investigation has heightened concerns Russia will use chemical weapons in the Donbas region of Ukraine. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia “had no other choice” but to launch what he called a “special military operation” in the region.

“One of the Russian occupiers’ speakers said that they might use chemical weapons against defenders of Mariupol,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a warning Monday. Clips from the warning is included in the video of above. “I’d like to remind the world leaders that Russia’s possible use of chemical weapons has been already discussed. At that moment, it meant that the reaction to the Russian aggression had to be much more severe and faster.”

Officials around the world began reacting to the reports of potential chemical weapon use in Ukraine Tuesday, with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne describing them as “extremely concerning.” Some of those reactions are included in the video above.British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey emphasized that “people will be held to account” if chemical weapons are used.

“I think it’s useful to maintain some ambiguity over exactly what the response would be,” Heappey said. “But let’s be clear, if they are used at all, then (Russian) President Putin should know that all possible options are on the table in terms of how the West might respond.”

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