Prohibited Warfare, Unthinkable Diplomacy
Petro Burkovskyi, analyst at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, has analysed the possible motives, goals, and consequences of Putin’s military use of chemical weapons and considered measures that could prevent such developments and prevent further destruction of Ukrainian cities by air and missile strikes.
In a statement after the extraordinary meeting in Brussels, NATO leaders warned Russia about “severe consequences” if it were to use chemical or biological weapons in the war against the Ukrainian people and army. This happened after an unnamed US national security advisor privately, and a French top diplomat openly told their Russian peers that any kind of chemical or bacteriological attack in Ukraine would constitute an intolerable escalation. Moreover, before the summit, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the press that he had informed Russian President Putin directly that such an attack would be unacceptable and unforgivable.
Western countries are concerned that Russian official statements about “Ukrainian secret labs” that allegedly develop chemical and biological weapons are in fact an attempt of a plausible cover-up for such an attack on the Russian part.