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    Chemical Warfare Escalation: Russian Use of Toxic CN Grenades in Ukraine

      TL;DR: Russian forces have reportedly begun using RG-Vo grenades, containing the toxic chemical agent chloroacetophenone (CN), against Ukrainian troops. This development was confirmed by Captain Andrii Rudyk from the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Chloroacetophenone is a lethal lacrimator agent, and its usage in warfare is a clear violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the United Nations General Assembly resolution of 1969, both of which Russia is a signatory. In December 2023 alone, 81 cases of these toxic grenades used by Russian troops were recorded, raising significant legal and ethical concerns.

    Introduction of RG-Vo Grenades with CN Agent

    In a concerning development within the ongoing conflict, Russian military forces have reportedly started using a new type of special gas grenade, designated RG-Vo, against Ukrainian troops. These grenades are said to contain chloroacetophenone, a toxic chemical compound also known by its military designation, CN. This information comes from the Centre for Research on Trophy and Advanced Weapons and Military Equipment of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, with spokesperson Captain Andrii Rudyk providing insights into the usage of these chemical weapons.

    Details on the Lethality of Chloroacetophenone

    The use of chloroacetophenone in these grenades presents a grave threat due to its high toxicity. Captain Andrii Rudyk noted that this chemical agent is classified as a lacrimator or tear-producing agent, with a lethal dosage of 11 mg-min/m³. Just 70 drops of the gas are enough to be fatal to an adult. The substance is characterized by a sharp, irritating odor, sometimes likened to the smell of apple blossoms. The first reported use of these grenades by Russian forces against Ukrainian defenders occurred in December 2023.

    Violation of International Agreements

    The employment of chloroacetophenone by Russian forces raises significant legal and ethical concerns, as it contravenes several international treaties and resolutions. The Geneva Protocol of 1925 explicitly prohibited the use of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases in warfare, as well as bacteriological methods of warfare. Furthermore, the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/2603 in 1969 also banned the use of such chemicals in combat. Despite being a signatory to both these documents, Russia's use of these toxic grenades marks a clear violation of international law. Captain Andrii Rudyk highlighted this breach, underscoring the seriousness of the situation. In December 2023 alone, 81 instances of the use of these toxic grenades by Russian forces were recorded.

    Image Credit: Militarnyi

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