Source: Donbas Insider by Christelle Néant
Russia, through its Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu, and the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic), through the spokesman of the people’s militia, Eduard Basurin, have expressed concerns about on a possible chemical weapons provocation by Ukraine in the Donbass, with the help of the US.
On 21 December 2021, at an extended Defence Ministry meeting attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu stated that US mercenaries stationed in the Ukrainian-controlled Donetsk region were preparing a chemical weapons provocation.
“Tanks with unspecified chemicals were delivered to the towns of Avdeyevka and Krasny Liman to carry out provocations,” he said.
Sergey Shoygu added that about 120 American mercenaries who train Ukrainian special forces have arrived in Donbass, including Avdeyevka.
“The presence of more than 120 employees of American mercenary companies in the Avdeyevka and Pryazovskoye localities of the Donetsk region has been established with certainty. They are setting up firing positions in residential buildings and socially important infrastructure, and training Ukrainian special operations forces and radical armed groups in active combat operations,” he said.
The details of the products potentially contained in these tanks were provided by the spokesman of the DPR People’s Militia, Eduard Basurin.
“Everyone knows that the United States of America has sent various types of weapons to Ukraine. In October, an antidote was delivered with one of the shipments… There is a type of chemical weapon – botulinum toxin, it causes botulism, but more simply paralysis. In November, the chemical itself was delivered in 40mm metal containers, usable for example in grenade launchers. Or from drones, the weight is light enough to be dropped from drones. The chemical weapons were supplied by the US,” Basurin told TV channel Rossia 1.
He added that, according to his information, another container was delivered to Mariupol at the same time.
“The weight of the container was 300 kg, it contained a chemical warfare agent – benzoxazepine, which is used in the form of an aerosol,” Basurin said.
“All this was brought to the Kharkov region, there are artillery depots near Slavyansk and this can be brought to the contact line very quickly. These are the chemicals we know about,” Basurin added.
He also said that US mercenaries are present on the line of contact in the Donbass, and that they “prepare firing positions, they are subordinate to certain people, they are not subject to the general command of the Ukrainian armed forces – these ‘wild geese’ are there to make provocations and kill people“.
To understand the choice of locations to which these chemical tanks were sent, it should be remembered that Krasny Liman is the only major railway junction in the Donbass with sorting capacity that is still under Ukrainian control. A chemical weapons provocation there would inevitably result in both civilian and military casualties.
Moreover, there are unexploited uranium mines in the forests near the town, which have no industrial value, but which can be used to increase the sensational scope of the provocation. Finally, Krasny Liman is located not far from the Donets River, and the Seversky Donets-Donbass Canal, which supplies water to the DPR!
For several weeks, the DPR has been receiving water from this canal that is unfit for consumption, raising fears of an attempt by Ukraine to poison the water.
“We already know that chemicals are being dumped into the Seversky Donets River. Then everything goes to our territory via water from Ukraine. We have no other source of water. And we had a problematic situation with the water for several weeks, with a chemical smell, there were ammonium impurities and some other substances. I don’t exclude that Ukraine is trying to poison the water. You can expect anything from this terrorist organisation,” said Vladislav Berdichevsky, deputy of the DPR People’s Council.
If this scenario does not seem unlikely, it is because documents published in 2020 revealed that Ukraine wanted to carry out a chemical weapons provocation in the Donbass in 2014. This dastardly plan had failed thanks to the poor state of the Ukrainian army and its weaponry.
Unsurprisingly, the United States denied that a chemical weapons provocation was being prepared by Ukraine in the Donbass with its help, in an extremely succinct manner.
“These statements by Minister Shoygu are completely wrong,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. With such a short denial, one is left a little hungry.
Especially since several disturbing facts seem to indicate that something is indeed brewing regarding the Donbass, both in Ukraine and in the United States. Indeed, on the website of the US State Department, the fact sheet concerning recommendations for travel to Ukraine was updated on 20 December 2021.
While the card had already been classified as Level 4 (red – do not travel there) since 25 October 2021, the addition of increasing threats from Russia to justify such a level was made on 20 December 2021 (prior to this the Level 4 was justified by COVID-19, crimes, and protests in the country). This suggests that the US is aware that a casus belli, which will result in a military response from Russia, is brewing.
Another disturbing fact is that while major international media have not applied for accreditation in the DPR for some time, the Republic received five accreditation requests in December alone from American (NBC News and Associated Press), British (Sky News and the Financial Times), and Canadian (CBC Radio-Canada) media. If a chemical weapons provocation were to take place in the Donbass, it is clear that the major media from NATO countries must be there to report on this “war crime”. Without proper media coverage, the provocation falls apart.
Finally, at the last meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group this week, the Ukrainian delegation made some of the “strangest” remarks about Ukraine soon having more war prisoners to exchange.
Indeed, while Kiev still refuses to proceed with the judicial clearance of exchanged prisoners, as foreseen in the Minsk Package, the Ukrainian representative in the contact group in charge of humanitarian issues declared that it was necessary to agree on an exchange mechanism suitable for Ukraine because “there will soon be more prisoners” in the country!
Such a statement implies that Ukraine will embark on a military operation. Otherwise, it is difficult to see how Ukraine can increase the number of its prisoners significantly enough to justify imposing its conditions on the exchange procedure.
It is to be hoped that the denunciation of this chemical weapon provocation in advance will prevent its implementation and its use in the media to justify an attack on the Donbass by Ukraine.