News / Event
February 05, 2024

Russian forces pushing their grinding offensive in eastern Ukraine "appear to be" resorting to World War I-era chemical weapons in their bid to dislodge Kyiv's defending units, according to the latest battlefield update from the Institute for the Study of War.

Colonel Oleksandr Shtupun, the spokesperson for the Tavria Ukrainian military group operating on the southeastern front line, said on Tuesday that Russian forces had been using "K-51 grenades with chloropicrin" in their attacks on Kyiv's positions.

The substance is a compound commonly used in the agricultural industry for its antimicrobial, fungicide, herbicide and insecticide properties. But it has also been used as a chemical weapon for its irritant effects, particularly in World War I.

"The enemy continues to violate the customs of warfare and use ammunition with poisonous substances of chemical origin," Shtupun said, as quoted by Ukraine's ArmyInform website.

"Five such resets were recorded yesterday. These are probably K-51 grenades with chloropicrin. But each such case is investigated separately, appropriate analyzes are made, and then it is submitted to international institutions."

Shtupun said the gas is particularly dangerous when it enters dugouts, though he added that the use of ordinary gas masks is sufficient protection for the soldiers being targeted.…