U.S. and Ukrainian Officials Bracing for Possible Russian Chemical Attack

Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense, walks in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russia renewed its assault on Ukraine’s second-largest city in a pounding that lit up the skyline with balls of fire over populated areas, even as both sides said they were ready to resume talks aimed at stopping the new devastating war in Europe.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Top U.S. and Ukrainian officials are bracing for Russia’s potential use of chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kyiv, although the Pentagon on Sunday said the U.S. has not seen signs of an “imminent chemical or biological attack right now” on Ukraine.

Questions over a possible chemical weapons attack by Russia emerged this week after Moscow accused the U.S. of housing biological weapons in Ukrainian territory – a statement the White House rejected.

The U.S. has warned that Russia may be making such claims to lay false pretexts for a potential attack by Moscow.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the U.S. has not “seen anything that indicates some sort of imminent chemical or biological attack right now,” but emphasized the department is “watching this very, very closely.”

If Russia does decide to launch such an attack against Ukraine, however, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan echoed President Biden in telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the U.S. is prepared to impose “severe consequences” on Moscow, though he did not say what those consequences would be.

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SOURCE: The Hill