(thegatewaypundit) – The evidence, so far, is circumstantial and inconclusive, but suggestive enough to warrant a more thorough investigation.
In recent days, there have been reports coming out of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Russian-occupied region of eastern Ukraine, that Ukrainian forces are using drone-delivered chemical munitions near the front-line towns of Soledar and Bakhmut.
According to the Russian news agency Tass:
“Ukrainian forces using chemical weapons in combat operations near Artyomovsk and Solear, making Russian troops suffer serious burns and poisoning”
Another unconfirmed report states:
“On the evening of February 5, the first use of this chemical weapon was reported in the village of Novobakhmutovka on the outskirts of Donetsk. Russian servicemen suffered vomiting and convulsions.”
If true, chemical burns would be consistent with the potential use of blister agents such as mustard gas, while vomiting and convulsions could indicate the use of highly lethal nerve agents.
Although not conclusive in themselves, the primary visual evidence is based on videos apparently originating from Ukrainian military or paramilitary forces, suggesting the use of chemical weapons.
The first video shows the preparation of munition-carrying drones, some of which may have chemical payloads, reportedly uploaded on February 5, 2023, by Robert Madyar, a commander of a Ukrainian army tactical air reconnaissance unit.
On 7 February 2023, two days after Madyar’s video was published, a second video appeared in Ukrainian chat rooms, showing the use of two munition-carrying drones allegedly against two Russian soldiers. This video is disturbing and viewer discretion is advised.
Below is the first video.
Munitions are often color-coded, usually with bands such as yellow for high explosive and single or multiple green bands on a gray background for Soviet-era non-persistent and persistent nerve agents.
The munitions shown in the video could also include incendiary or smoke.
Such coding systems can vary from country to country and it is not clear if the munitions shown in this video are following any particular system.
Refrigeration and being plastic-enclosed are indications that the munition may be either volatile or subject to degradation or both, characteristics that are associated with chemical weapons.
The second video (disturbing, viewer discretion is advised) shows the use of two munition-carrying drones against two soldiers, presumably Russian, who are walking waist-deep in a water-filled ditch.
The video is edited, often unclear and may not show sequential events, but certain inferences can be attempted.
Two munitions, which appear to be differently colored, are used. The second may be irrelevant to the ultimate outcome.
After the initial explosion, the lead soldier is apparently assisting the second soldier, who may be fatally injured, and appears to slowly submerge in the water.
The video then cuts immediately to what appears to be the lead soldier on his back flailing uncontrollably in the water, seemingly unable to right himself in the waist-deep water as would be the natural response.
From the video, it is not possible to determine whether the soldier’s inability to right himself was due to an injury from a high explosive or a chemical agent, although what appears to be convulsive behavior is more characteristic of the latter.
The cause of death may have been drowning due to reasons that cannot be resolved from the video.
As a biological and chemical weapons expert and one of a small number who has witnessed nerve agent effects on animals, although not a perfect match in terms of a physiological response to nerve agents, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence contained in the videos to pursue a more comprehensive analysis as to whether or not chemical weapons are being used by Ukraine.