Russian forces are distributing “gas masks” among their troops in eastern Ukraine, according to a senior Ukrainian official who suggested that Russian forces might orchestrate a chemical attack under false pretenses.
Ambassador Oksana Markarova told reporters at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington that “occupation forces are also handing out, actively, gas masks to local militants and the Russian military in Donetsk Oblast,” citing Ukrainian intelligence reports.
“So we are making this information public to warn that there might be a possibility of provocation. There are different versions of what would they do, [perhaps] after blowing up some industrial tanks with chemicals,” she continued.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote earlier on Twitter that “Russian propaganda has gone off the rails and speculates Ukraine might be preparing to drop a ‘dirty bomb’ on the Russian territory.” While Kuleba’s statement attempted to dispel that idea, Markarova’s claim, which she attributed to Ukrainian security services, raised the specter of a Russian chemical attack in one of the key theaters of the invasion.