Ukraine-Russia War LIVE – Monster Putin ‘uses chemical weapons in Mariupol’ in twisted war crimes escalation
Explained: What Are Chemical Weapons And Are They Illegal?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed concerns that Russia could use chemical weapons in the war. In addition, there was an unconfirmed report of their deployment in the besieged southern port of Mariupol.
The manufacture, use and stockpiling of chemical weapons is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Only Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan have neither signed nor ratified the international arms control treaty. Israel signed it but did not ratify it.
The convention is overseen by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, which can determine whether toxic chemicals have been used as weapons.
According to the treaty, the use of the most dangerous “detected” toxins and their precursors is prohibited. These include the nerve agents sarin, VX and Novichok, which were developed in the Soviet era, as well as the poison ricin and the blistering agent sulfur mustard.
A chemical weapon is “any chemical capable of causing death, temporary incapacitation, or permanent damage through its chemical action on life processes,” says the OPCW. An uncontrolled chemical like chlorine could also become a chemical weapon if used in a conflict.
Although condemned by human rights groups, white phosphorus is not banned by the CWC. Neither does cluster munitions, which fall under a separate international treaty