About this write Politico, citing six informed interlocutors, including officials from the Joe Biden administration and the US Department of Defense
According to a representative of the US Department of Defense and another interlocutor, this fall the Pentagon sent teams to the countries of Eastern Europe to acquaint their armed forces with procedures in the event of a chemical or biological threat. In addition, the United States provided Kyiv with chemical, biological and nuclear defenses as part of billions in security assistance.
Biden administration officials believe that Putin may first use chemical weapons in Ukraine before resorting to a nuclear confrontation with NATO if his forces continue to lose ground.
According to the interlocutors of the publication, the USA does not have any intelligence data that would indicate the inevitability of a chemical attack in Ukraine.
“But in the event of continued losses on the battlefield or the complete collapse of the Russian army, some senior officials working on the issue noted that Moscow could resort to the use of chemical weapons – including those linked to the use in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny “, the article says.
According to one of the officials, such an attack could involve chemicals that are easy to hide, which would make it difficult for Western countries to blame Moscow. Russia could use pharmaceutical-based agents known as PBA, the official said.
Some chemicals could be used in mass-casualty attacks, although Moscow is known to have used the Novachok nerve agent against one or two people at a time, officials and experts said. For example, some chemicals can be aerosolized or used in munitions to harm a large group of people.
The US has known for a long time that Russia is investing in increasing its chemical weapons capability. According to the congressman’s aide, senators were briefed this fall on Russian stockpiles of chemical weapons and the threat in Ukraine.
The Biden administration is also reportedly developing plans to increase investment in manufacturing capacity for early detection systems and masks. It also wants to review ways to gather intelligence on countries’ capabilities and stockpiles.
As the newspaper notes, officials do not believe that a nuclear or chemical attack is likely. Defense officials believe the fighting will slow down during the winter months, when rain and mud make it difficult for tanks and armored vehicles to move, and neither side will make much progress on the battlefield.
“They (Ukrainians – ed.) do not have sufficient military mass to win in the near term, unless there is a major Russian collapse,” said one of the official representatives of the US Department of Defense. It “could happen, but then we’d go up the ladder of escalation.”
However, according to officials, the threat of chemical weapons is taken seriously in the Biden administration.
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