On Wednesday, as children were being dug out of the rubble of a shelled maternity hospital, and Russia was bragging about their use of a monstrous thermobaric weapon system designed to kill cities a block at a time, there came word that Russia may be preparing to deploy chemical weapons to accelerate their destruction of Ukraine.
According to the Independent, one unnamed “western official” cited Russia’s past involvement with chemical weapons in Syria as a cause for concern. But there’s a bigger reason to be worried than just past history. Over the last day, Russia’s Defense Ministry has been cranking out propaganda claiming that Ukraine is getting ready to “frame Russia for a chemical weapons attack.” Considering that Russia is also engaged in claiming that Ukraine is bombing it’s own civilians, that Russian forces are destroying secret U.S. bioweapons labs, and that the whole invasion is about eliminating Nazis, it’s clear that there’s no relation between what’s actually happening and what Russia is saying.
The bigger worry is, of course, that Russia is crying “false flag” about a chemical weapons attack, because it is about to conduct a chemical weapons attack.
What would be the result of Russia deploying any form of nonconventional weapon? In theory, there should be no difference in the outrage between a chemical attack and the use of a tactical nuke. It’s the sort of weapon that should demand an immediate response. All those promises that the U.S. and/or NATO will not get directly involved, would be severely tested.
But then, Russia is deliberately bombing hospitals, schools, and civilian homes. It’s inviting people to enter a “humanitarian corridor,” then shelling them. It’s using thermobaric weapons that can erase whole sections of a city, and leave everyone around the blast gasping for what remains of the scorched air. Russia has already committed themselves to a strategy that requires their forces to commit war crimes, over and over, day after day.
Would chemical weapons really change anything? We may find out.
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