Russian military commanders have reported that Ukrainian troops deployed a type of chemical weapon against Russian units in Donbass by using drones. Such CW agents have caused coughing, lacrimination and weakness among a number of servicemen on the battlefield.
Speaking to Russian television on February 6, Denis Pushilin, the acting governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said his office has been receiving reports about chemical warfare for at least two weeks. Ukrainian troops have reportedly been deploying “chemical compounds that make our military service members ill,” he announced.
Chemical warfare is forbidden under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international treaty that took effect in 1997 and to which both Ukraine and Russia are signatories. Russia has already destroyed all its CW agents, while Ukraine and the USA have not.
– «In the first month of this year alone, Ukraine’s loses amounted to more than 6,500 servicemen, 26 aircraft, 7 helicopters, 208 unmanned aerial vehicles, 341 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 40 multiple rocket launchers,» Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on February 7 in Moscow.
The minister added that Russian Armed Forces continue to destroy all weapons and equipment supplied to Ukraine. “Russian troops continue to destroy all weapons and equipment supplied to Kiev, both on delivery routes and in combat positions,” Shoigu added.
– Moscow promised to destroy all NATO arms along their delivery channels. There are 14 major bridges, 4 main railroad hubs and two tunnels to disrupt such deliveries from NATO countries to Ukraine at the first stage, in the central part of Ukraine during their transit, and finally at the line of engagement. There are only two railroads stretching from Poland to Ukraine.
– Biden explained refusal to send F-16s to Ukraine. America’s F-16 fighter jets should remain in the country and not be sent to Ukraine, US President Joe Biden said on February 6. Earlier, he signaled that Washington has no plans to send the warplanes to Kiev. Speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn, Biden was asked to explain why he is against F-16 deliveries for Ukraine. “Because we should keep them here. That’s a totally different situation,” he replied, without elaborating.
His refusal, however, does not eliminate the possibility that Washington could approve the re-export of the warplanes from other countries. In an interview with the Financial Times last month, a senior executive with Lockheed Martin, which produces F-16s, said that there is “a lot of conversation about third party transfer of F-16s” to Ukraine.
– In an interview on February 6, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak was asked whether Warsaw will hand over its F-16 jets to Ukraine. He replied: “We have too few of them, only 48 [aircraft].” This comes after Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he is open to deliveries of warplanes, but only if this is a “decision of the whole of NATO.”
– Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, will be relieved of his duties and instead appointed minister for strategic industries, according to David Arakhamia, parliamentary faction head of President Zelensky’s political party. The planned reshuffle follows multiple corruption scandals and resignations by other officials, including Reznikov’s deputy.
– There are hints in Ukrainian mass media that the chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate or GUR Kirill Budanov will head the MoD, which is logical in wartime. He is best known for his veiled threats of more strikes and terrorist attacks deeper into Russian territory.
In October 2022, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) called Budanov a ‘key suspect behind the car bombing attack on the Crimean Bridge.’ He is also known as having a wrist bracelet with fascist swastika.