Moscow may engage in false flag chemical and biological attacks in Ukraine: White House

Russia claimed that U.S. had bio­weapons labs in Ukraine

Updated - March 10, 2022 10:45 pm IST

Published - March 10, 2022 10:03 pm IST - Washington DC

White House press secretary Jen Psaki during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: AP

Dismissing Russian claims about the U.S. having chemical and biological weapons labs in Ukraine as “preposterous”, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Russia could be preparing the ground for using such weapons in Ukraine or that it may be setting up a false flag operation using these banned methods of warfare.

“This is preposterous. It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries, which have been debunked, and an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent,” Ms. Psaki said on Twitter, adding the U.S. was in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention and not developing or in possession of these weapons anywhere.

Russia had a track-record of using chemical weapons in poisoning and attempting to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political enemies, Ms. Psaki said, citing the example of Russian dissident leader Alexey Navalny.

In 2020, Mr. Navalny was, as per German lab tests, exposed to a nerve agent — a result of a botched assassination attempt by Mr. Putin, Mr. Navalny had alleged.

Mr. Navalny, currently in jail, has called for an end to the war. “It’s Russia that continues to support the Assad regime in Syria, which has repeatedly used chemical weapons. It’s Russia that has long maintained a biological weapons program in violation of international law,” Ms. Psaki wrote.

“Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern,” Ms. Psaki said.

This is the second set of Ukraine-related events that the White House has issued a forewarning about in recent weeks. U.S. officials — including President Joe Biden — had said they were “convinced” Mr. Putin was about to attack Ukraine just days before Russia began its assault of Ukraine on February 24.

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