In a word of caution regarding Russia’s ensuing attack on Ukraine, the Biden administration publicly warned Wednesday that Russia might seek to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine.
The statement was in response to Russia’s baseless allegations wherein Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova this week, without evidence, accused Ukraine of running chemical and biological weapons labs in its territory, supported by the U.S.
Calling Russia’s claim “preposterous”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it could be part of an attempt by Russia to lay the groundwork for itself using such weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine. “This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” Psaki tweeted Wednesday. “Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them.”
As it stands, the conspiracy theory about U.S.-run labs in Ukraine has been picked up by Chinese state-controlled media and is now circulating in online message boards popular with COVID-19 conspiracy theorists and far-right groups in the U.S.