US expands sanctions against Russia over chemical weapons use in Ukraine

The U.S. State Department has expanded sanctions against Moscow, stating that Russian forces have used chloropicrin, a prohibited chemical substance, against the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) on the battlefield, according to an announcement on May 1.

“The use of such chemicals is not an isolated incident and is probably driven by Russian forces’ desire to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions and achieve tactical gains on the battlefield,” the message said.

“The Department of State has made a determination under the CBW Act [Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991] that Russia has used the chemical weapon chloropicrin against Ukrainian forces in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

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As a result, the United States has imposed sanctions on the Russian Defense Ministry's Radiological, Chemical, and Biological Defense Troops, the Scientific Research Institute of Applied Acoustics, and the 48th Central Research Institute of the Russian Defense Ministry, which are engaged in the development of chemical weapons.

Additionally, four companies involved in the Russian chemical weapons program have been targeted by the sanctions.

In March, the Ukrainian military said that Russia carried out 1,068 chemical attacks since February 2022.

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