Representatives of US President Joe Biden’s administration assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin may use chemical weapons in Ukraine first before resorting to a nuclear confrontation if his troops continue to lose on the Ukrainian battlefield.
According to Politico, six people familiar with the matter said the concerns come as the Biden administration tries to ensure allies are prepared for such an event and mobilizes new resources and investment to build systems that can be used if the chemicals are used.
Representatives of the US Department of Defense spoke on condition of anonymity. However, the United States has no intelligence that suggests such an attack is imminent in Ukraine. In fact, many US Defense Department officials believe that
fighting will cease during the winter months and neither side will be able to capture significant territory.
But if battlefield losses continue or the Russian military collapses, some senior officials have concluded that Moscow could resort to using chemical weapons, Politico reports.
One official said such an attack could involve chemicals that are easy to hide, making it difficult for Western countries to incriminate Moscow.
For example, some chemicals can be aerosolized or used in munitions to harm large groups of people.