The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) claims that Russian naval infantry units have confirmed they are using prohibited chemical weapons in the village of Krynky, located 30 kilometers northeast of Kherson, the ISW said in their latest assessment on Dec. 23.
According to the ISW, Russia's 810th Naval Infantry Brigade seemingly confirmed on Telegram that it intentionally uses chemical weapons against Ukrainian forces, in direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which Russia is a party to. The marine unit detailed its "radical change in tactics," confirming it is dropping K-51 grenades from drones onto Ukrainian positions to smoke Ukrainian soldiers out of their position, exposing them to fire from various arms.
K-51 aerosol grenades are filled with the Riot Control Agent gas CS (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile), a tear gas used for crowd control. Riot Control Agents are prohibited from being used in modern warfare under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The Infantry Brigade posted a video of it dropping what appears to be prohibited K-51 presumably in Krynky, and the ISW had previously observed Russian forces using K-51 grenades against Ukrainian positions in Donetsk Oblast in November 2022.
Ukraine has documented Russia's persistent use of chemical weapons since the beginning of full-scale invasion. This past August, Russian troops fired two artillery barrages with munitions containing a chemical substance onto Ukrainian troops. And in May, Ukraine's Border Service claimed that the Russian military had fired munitions with irritant aerosols and chemical grenades near Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast.