VLADIMIR Putin’s troops have been accused of using chemical weapons on Ukrainians in the besieged city of Mariupol.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK and other allies were “working urgently” to verify the details of the alleged chemical attack.
A battalion claims troops were hit by an “unknown substance”, leaving its men dizzy and suffering from respiratory failure.
The unidentified agent is saidThe unidentified agent is said to have been dropped on the city from a Russian drone, according to unverified reports from the city’s Azov regiment.
Writing on Twitter tonight, Ms Truss warned Russia: “Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict and we will hold Putin and his regime to account.”
It comes after the UK Ministry of Defence yesterday suggested that Russia could turn to the use of a deadly phosphorus bombs amid attempts to break resistance in Mariupol.
Claims the chemical attack were also published by Ukrainian MP Ivanna Klympush on Twitter.
She wrote: “Russia 1.5hr ago used unknown substance in #Mariupol.
“Victims experience respiratory failure, vestibulo-atactic syndrome. Most likely chemical weapons!
“This is red line beyond which must destroy economy of despotism. We demand full embargo on all fuels from #RU &heavy weapons 2UA now!”
The Ukrainian Azov regiment also tweeted: “Russian occupation forces used a poisonous substance of unknown origin against Ukrainian military and civilians in the city of Mariupol, which was dropped from an enemy drone.
“The victims have respiratory failure… the effects of the unknown substance are being clarified.”
It comes after the city was devasted by a several horrific strikes, leading to hundreds of civilian deaths.
Mariupol is believed to be surrounded by Russian troops, with commanders resorting to sickening attacks to break the will of the people living there.
At least 300 people taking shelter at a theatre in the city were killed by a Russian airstrike last month.
Russian troops also reduced a school to rubble in the city, where around 400 civilians were sheltering when the building was hit by thermobaric TOS-1A rockets, which can melt human organs.
Surviving residents are said to have resorted to drinking from puddles after their power and water supplies were severed.