President Biden recently threatened Russia that it would “pay a severe price” if it used chemical weapons in Ukraine.
On Sunday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan echoed Biden’s remarks. He also argued that the Russians accusing the U.S. and Ukraine of potentially using chemical weapons is a “tell” that they may be planning to carry out a ‘false flag’ operation.
“It is a very legitimate concern, fear that Russia would use chemical weapons in Ukraine,” Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“They’re right now accusing the United States and Ukrainians and potentially using chemical and biological weapons which is a tell, it’s a tell that they themselves may be preparing to do so, and then trying to pin the blame on someone else,” Sullivan added.
The Washington Post reported on Friday reported about the risk from Russia potentially using a chemical weapon against Ukrainians and then blaming the U.S. or Ukraine.
“The United States and its allies have intelligence that Russia may be preparing to use chemical weapons against Ukraine, U.S. and European officials said Friday, as Moscow sought to invigorate its faltering military offensive through increasingly brutal assaults across multiple Ukrainian cities,” the Washington Post reported.
“Security officials and diplomats said the intelligence, which they declined to detail, pointed to possible preparations by Russia for deploying chemical munitions, and warned the Kremlin may seek to carry out a ‘false-flag’ attack that attempts to pin the blame on Ukrainians, or perhaps Western governments,” the report continued. “The officials, like others quoted in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.”
“The accusations surfaced as Russia repeated claims that the United States and Ukraine were operating secret biological weapons labs in Eastern Europe — an allegation that the Biden administration dismissed as ‘total nonsense’ and ‘outright lies’,” WaPo added.
He pointed to President Biden’s comments on Friday, when he said Moscow would “pay a severe price” if chemical weapons are used in Ukraine.
“As the president said on Friday, if Russia were to use chemical weapons in Ukraine they would pay a severe price,” Sullivan said.
Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former chief of the British Army’s chemical weapons unit, recently told The Sun Online there is a chance Russian troops storm a lab and use it as a base to unleash a bioweapon.
The military analyst also warned that “indiscriminate” bombing by Putin’s troops could also unleash a virus from one of the level 3 ‘biological threat reduction’ labs.
Russian accusations about the U.S.-funded biolaboratory program in Ukraine were recently sparked by Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Watch:
“Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact, we are now quite concerned,” Nuland said “Russian troops, Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused without providing hard evidence that the United States is assisting Ukrainians with the development of ‘biological warfare facilities’ in Kyiv and Odessa. Lavrov leveled the charge at a press conference, which was echoed by top-ranking Russian diplomatic negotiators at Russia-Ukraine peace talks in Belarus. The Kremlin has also taken its allegations to the U.N. Security Council.
The U.S. has flatly denied any such bioweapons program in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, social media platforms in the United States are prepared to censor any content that spreads doubt or minimizes attacks in Ukraine — including videos about hypothetical chemical weapons attacks.
“Now, YouTube said, it’s removing content about Russia and Ukraine that violates a policy against denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events,” CNET reported. “YouTube has removed more than 1,000 channels and 15,000 videos related to the war across a range of policy violations, the company said.”
Given the United States’ track record of using false information as a justification to go to war — such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident before the Vietnam conflict and an assertion about an active WMD program in Iraq prior to its invasion of the country — that isn’t exactly reassuring.