British Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed the fears expressed by US officials that Russia might use chemical weapons while their troops attempt to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine, Sky News reported. 

In an interview with them, Johnson said, “The stuff that you’re hearing about chemical weapons, this is straight out of their playbook”, and added, “They start saying that there are chemical weapons that have been stored by their opponents or by the Americans. And so when they themselves deploy chemical weapons – as I fear they may – they have a sort of a maskirovka [Russian military deception] of a fake story ready to go”. 

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Johnson further said, “I just note that that is what they’re already doing. It is a cynical, barbaric government, I’m afraid”. 

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also expressed similar concerns about Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine, in a CNN interview, saying “we’ve seen Russia use these weapons before in fields of conflict”. 

The White House, on Wednesday, said that Russia may directly use chemical weapons in Ukraine or create a “false flag” operation that uses them. 

Jen Psaki, the White House Secretary had tweeted, “Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern”. 

The US State Department concurs with the assessment, and earlier Secretary of the State Antony Blinken had also predicted that Russia might carry out real or fake chemical attacks to use as a pretext for invading Ukraine. However, his statement had come before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to enter. 

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Currently, Russia is under scrutiny as it has been accused of war crimes. Among them is the UK which has backed Ukraine’s declarations of Russia attacking civilian targets. The US too has acknowledged the same but not labelled it a war crime yet. Meanwhile, recent reports of a Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol has caused global outrage, but Russia has now denied responsibility for the same.