DONETSK, January 13. /TASS/. Yan Gagin, a military analyst from the Donetsk People’s Republic, on Friday told TASS that Ukrainian forces used chemical weapons in Soledar and Artyomovsk, including foreign-made grenades.
"The use of chemical weapons by the Ukrainian army and mercenaries is an established fact. It has been documented. They include Soviet-made chemical grenades and foreign-made chemical grenades. They have been used in Soledar and Artyomovsk," he said.
The analyst said fighters of the Wagner private military company have been affected by chemical weapons in some cases. According to Gagin, they have been hospitalized with pulmonary oedema and airway burns.
He said Ukrainian forces used similar weapons during the storming of Mariupol, namely the capture of the Azovstal plant. He said he took part in the storming of the city and experienced the impact of chemical weapons. Everyone who was there "had a cough for a long time afterward and oedema," he said. "It’s possible something was used but we didn’t pay attention to it at the time. Now they are saying this openly," Gagin said.
On Friday, former Ukrainian lawmaker Ilya Kiva said Ukrainian forces were going to use more chemical weapons in the combat area and were plotting terrorist attacks in Donbass.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner company, said in the early hours of Wednesday that Soledar, which had been at the center of battles in recent days, had been seized. Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday that Russian troops had blocked Soledar from the north and south and battles were raging inside the city. Andrey Bayevsky, a lawmaker at the legislature of the Donetsk People’s Republic and a colonel of the People’s Militia, said Russian forces continued fighting with the remnants of the Ukrainian military grouping.