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Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, one of Russia's top military commanders, said he had found evidence that Ukraine had violated the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, who commands Russia's chemical and biological defense forces, said engineering troops had discovered a laboratory where hydrogen cyanide, an extremely dangerous and highly toxic substance used as a chemical weapon during World War I, was apparently being produced.

The general claimed that the facility was located near the Donbass town of Avdiivka.

CHEMICAL REACTORS FOUND

The makeshift laboratory itself was found inside a partially demolished building in an industrial zone that also housed a chemical processing plant, the RT news website claimed. The facility included a rotary vaporizer and several chemical reactors.

Protective clothing, including US-made gas masks and Polish hazmat suits, were allegedly found on site.

TRACES OF TOXIC CHEMICALS

According to Kirillov, samples taken from the plant and analyzed in Russian military laboratories contained traces of sulfuric acid and sodium cyanide, which can be used to produce hydrogen cyanide.

The general claimed that traces of cyanide anions - toxic chemical compounds of the cyano group - were found in more than one piece of equipment.

"The evidence clearly shows that the laboratory was used to produce toxic substances," Kirillov said.

PRODUCTION CAPACITY OF 3 KILOGRAMS PER DAY

According to Russian Defense Ministry estimates, the plant was capable of producing at least 3 kilograms of the chemical per day if operated by just two or three people. Hydrogen cyanide can kill if a person inhales just 70 to 80 milligrams of the substance.

In May 2024, civilians in the Avdiivka region showed symptoms consistent with hydrogen cyanide poisoning after Ukrainian military drones dropped bombs on the area.

Kirillov said another case was reported in Russia's Belgorod Region, where pieces of Ukrainian ammunition with traces of hydrogen cyanide were found.

SECRET PROGRAM ACCUSATION AGAINST UKRAINE AND USA

In March 2022, Russia accused Ukraine of running a secret biological weapons program with US assistance.

Kiev denied possessing biological weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. The Pentagon called Russia's claims "absurd" and "ridiculous".

Editor: David Goodman