US Has Moved on to WMD Provocations After Economic Pressure Against Russia Failed, Zakharova Says
15:26 GMT 23.04.2022 (Updated: 16:51 GMT 23.04.2022)
Earlier on Saturday, the chief of Russia's Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Protection Troops revealed US plans to stage provocations to accuse Moscow baselessly of using chemical, biological, or even tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine to discredit its ongoing military operation in the country.
The Russian military's revelations
about suspected US plans to accuse Russian forces of using WMDs in Ukraine are a sign that Washington has moved on to Plan B after the failure of its attempts to sanction Russia into submission, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.
"The reason is clear: the shocking details of the illegal cooperation between the United States and the current Ukrainian authorities in the field of creating bacteriological weapons have been revealed to the world. And the understanding of the inevitability of the detection of their criminal activities was so obvious that Washington began to prepare in advance", Zakharova wrote in a post on her Telegram page on Saturday.
Pointing to Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's confirmation in a Senate testimony in March on the presence of "biological research facilities"
in Ukraine, and fears that these facilities would fall into Russian hands, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman suggested that Washington has decided to spin the agenda and prepare for a "terrible" provocation, whose victims may include Russian servicemen and Ukrainian civilians alike.
American public opinion on the matter began to be prepared ahead of time, Zakharova suggested, pointing to a 25 March article entitled "Preparing for the Unthinkable in Ukraine"
in Foreign Affairs magazine about the likelihood of "Russian biological or chemical attacks" in Ukraine.
"And of course, contractors and (Western-controlled) organisations were found which can be tasked with 'investigating' the circumstances of the use of [such] weapons. I will name two: the Chemical Forensics International Technical Working Group, which 'proved itself' during [chemical weapons] provocations in Syria, and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, which specialises in poisons of the Novichok type. In the past, both structures have shown their reliability and diligence in dealing with their American masters", the spokeswoman wrote.
21 January 2020, 10:22 GMT
According to Zakharova, the US is also working with international organisations, including the Red Cross and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), expecting to "pull off a 'Syrian-style scenario'" in the latter, which would enable them to expel Russia from the organisation.
"The Americans and their partners in Europe completely ignore the fact that Russia has not had any chemical weapons for about five years now - since 27 September 2017, with this fact verified by the OPCW", the spokeswoman recalled. This kink in their plans can be dealt with by "planting" such arms at a location where Russian forces are already stationed, she suggested.
Such an attempt may have already been made, Zakharova wrote, pointing to Saturday's MoD report
that Ukraine attempted to stage a chemical drone attack by dropping a container with ampoules on Russian positions which, when destroyed, was supposed to cause a chemical reaction and an explosion, culminating in the release of toxic substances into the surrounding environment.
"All of this is very serious. Clearly, the original US plan was to pressure Russia economically to force the country to reconsider its legitimate security interests. This did not work out. Now, the US is moving toward the use of WMDs - factually, to games beyond 'red lines'. If this occurs, the number of victims will be incalculable. And all of them will be on the conscience of strategists in the offices of the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, and on the conscience of their Kiev puppets, if anything is left of them", Zakharova concluded.
In his briefing earlier Saturday, NCB Protection Troops chief Igor Kirillov warned that Washington and Kiev had plans to set scenarios in motion that would cause the deaths of "tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and cause an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe". The officer said the provocations could target a broad range of facilities in various regions of Ukraine, from chemical and biological facilities in the cities of Kharkov and Kiev, to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.
"The staging of the use of weapons of mass destruction is aimed at accusing Russia of resorting to prohibited weapons, which would be followed by the implementation of a so-called 'Syrian scenario', whereby a state is subjected to economic and political isolation, as well as exclusion from international organizations, including the UN Security Council", Kirillov said.
On top of that, the officer suggested, false flag WMD attacks could be used as a tool by the US and its allies to put diplomatic pressure on major world powers such as China and India to join the West in its sweeping anti-Russian sanctions.