The Ukrainian army used a captured Russian T-80 tank to shoot at a Russian position in the Donetsk area of Ukraine on November 22, 2022.
The Biden administration is being pushed by this report to increase chemical attack detection and readiness. According to a DoD official and another person familiar with the project, the Pentagon deployed teams to Eastern European nations this fall to update their armed forces on protocols in the event of a chemical or biological threat. In the meantime, the United States has given Kiev protection against chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks as part of its multibillion-dollar security support.
Senior officials are also trying to change how the US plans for and responds to possible chemical weapons attacks from other countries, such as Russia. The Biden administration is coming up with plans to get more money invested in making early detection systems and wearable technologies like masks. It also wants to think about how to get more accurate information and intelligence about what countries can do and what they have.
After the world community connected the use of the nerve agent Novichok by Russia to the poisoning of Navalny, a vocal opponent of Putin, and Sergei Skripal, a British national who had previously served as a Russian intelligence operative, the U.S. stepped up efforts to follow this user.
Skripal and his daughter need medical attention in 2018 after being exposed to Novichok. Additionally, in 2020, Navalny was admitted to a hospital in Germany, where authorities claimed there was “unequivocal proof” he had been poisoned with Novichok while traveling. They are both still alive.
Russia has also been linked to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The US has accused Moscow of helping the Syrian government hide the use of banned chemical weapons during the civil war in that country.
Experts and government officials say it’s getting harder to track down pharmaceutical-based substances and learn about how they’re made, especially when doing so for hostile reasons. Gregory Koblentz, who runs the Biodefense Graduate Program at George Mason University, said that the materials needed to make chemical weapons are easy to hide and can be used in legitimate businesses.
For revealing what is happening within one of these key biological facilities, Koblentz said, “the typical intelligence approaches that we’re pretty strong at, like satellite photography and signals intelligence, aren’t that relevant.” “To do that, you need human intelligence, which is difficult to come by.”
There are some indications that Russia might use unconventional warfare. This October, U.S. intelligence revealed that senior officials thought Russia might resort to using nuclear weapons out of despair. And in October, Russian officials said that Ukraine was planning a false flag operation by setting off a “dirty bomb” on its land. So, Russia made it’s military more ready for a possible attack with chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons by raising alertness.
The assertions were disputed by Western leaders, who cautioned Moscow against using them as justification to escalate the conflict. At the time, U.S. officials expressed concern that Russia may deploy a dirty bomb itself—a weapon made from radioactive nuclear waste and ordinary explosives—and then accuse Ukraine.
U.S. officials often spoke with their Russian and Ukrainian counterparts during the crisis. One senior DoD source said that worries about a possible dirty bomb threat have “calmed down a little bit.”
Authorities do not anticipate a nuclear or chemical assault. In the winter, when mud and rain make it more challenging to move tanks and armoured vehicles, defence officials predict that fighting will slacken and neither side will make much headway. They anticipate difficult combat to regain terrain on the eastern side of the Dnieper River, where Russian forces have concentrated, despite Kyiv’s hard-won triumph in retaking the strategically important city of Kherson in the south.
Short of a significant Russian collapse, they lack the military mass to prevail in the foreseeable future, according to a DoD officer. If it occurs, we move up the escalation ladder.
Officials say that the threat that chemical weapons pose is still taken very seriously by the administration.
A Pentagon official said, “We’ve always known that they can use these kinds of weapons.” Our assessment hasn’t changed because of this. We are still keeping a close eye on this conflict, but we haven’t seen anything that would make us change our position.
In response to Russia’s deployment of Novichok, the United States imposed sanctions on individuals and organisations involved in building up the nation’s chemical weapons capabilities. Additionally, it has imposed sanctions on Russian organisations working to develop Moscow’s biological weapons capabilities.
Russian authorities have recently publicly asserted that the United States has a covert biological weapons program without offering proof. This year, Russia requested a hearing under the Biological Weapons Convention, an international agreement adopted in 1975 to forbid nations from creating and using biological weapons, for the first time in almost 25 years.
Officials and experts say that Russia is trying to hurt the U.S. by spreading false information as it continues to give more military aid to Ukraine.