It has been said before that the Kremlin could turn to chemical weapons if they suffer heavy losses in Ukraine. The US Politico is now relying on six unnamed insiders in the US government to warn against it again.
The officials, who have insisted on anonymity, do not believe there is an imminent threat, but they say Moscow can take the step and perhaps would if it were forced to retreat further.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would first use chemical weapons and only then possibly resort to nuclear weapons.
According to Politico, it could be, among other things, the same poison that Russia used against Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny.
Doctors found traces of the nerve toxin novichok in his body.
Novichok is actually a collective name for a certain group of nerve agents. In the 1970s and 1980s it was developed as a chemical weapon in the then Soviet Union.
The United States has no information to suggest that a chemical attack is imminent in Ukraine. The insiders rather expect the fighting to stop during the winter months, so not much will change for both sides on the battlefield. But in the event of continued losses, or a complete collapse of the Russian military, top officials are not ruling out escalation.
The United States National Security Council declined to comment on Politico.
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