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Russia’s ‘warning’ of Ukraine’s biological weapons sounds just like Syria

By Martin Chulov

09 Mar 2022 · 3 min read

When a Russian spokesperson took to a podium in Moscow on Wednesday and warned of a “biological weapons programme” in Ukraine, fighters on another battlefield – Syria – understood what she meant.

The anti-Assad opposition groups that still held northern Syria had heard it all before. From 2015, when Russia took a prominent stake in the conflict, and throughout the gruesome years that followed, claims that they, instead of the Assad regime, had used chemical weapons were a ready-made slur that put them on notice of an imminent assault. The allegations were made by Moscow, whenever ground forces it was supporting wanted to clear a town or city. Brutal, indiscriminate bombardment followed. So did impunity.

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