Statement on Russia’s Alleged CWC Violations in Ukraine

Civil Society Calls on CWC States Parties to Condemn Violations of the Treaty and to Support an Investigation of Alleged Russian Use of Chemical Weapons in Ukraine

May 14, 2024

The Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition (CWC Coalition) expresses its grave concern following reports on May 1, 2024, that the United States believes there is credible evidence that the government of the Russian Federation has used chemical agents in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in its war with Ukraine. 

The statement released by the State Department accuses Russia of using “the chemical weapon chloropicrin [a banned choking agent] against Ukrainian troops,” as well as engaging in the use of riot control agents “as a method of warfare” against Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield, which is strictly prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention. These are very serious allegations that must be independently verified by the OPCW in a timely manner.

The CWC Coalition condemns any violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention by any state or non-state actor, and we call upon Russia and all other states-parties to abstain from employing chemical weapons or riot control agents in a manner prohibited by the treaty. 

With the support of the vast majority of the world, the Chemical Weapons Convention has made impressive strides in ridding the world of chemical weapons stockpiles, and any violation of the treaty weakens these norms and it requires a robust and unified response from the international community. 

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an extremely valuable multilateral disarmament treaty that has advanced international peace and security. It is essential that all states help reinforce the treaty and the global taboo against chemical weapons it has established.

The following members of the CWC Coalition express their serious concern about these alleged Russian violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and call upon CWC states parties to direct the OPCW to open an investigation into these allegations. We also call on both Russia and Ukraine to fully and immediately cooperate with the OPCW in its investigation. 


Irma Arguello, Founder and Chair, NPSGlobal Foundation

Thomas Countryman, Chairman, Arms Control Association

Kathy Crandall Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, Arms Control Association*

Michael Crowley, Phd, University of Bradford*

Malcolm Dando, Professor, University of Bradford*

Bastiaan van Delft-Prak, Treasurer, Green Cross Nederland

Brett Edwards, Phd, University of Bath*

Hubert Kum Foy, Director, African Center for Science and International Security

Maria J. Espona, Phd, ArgIQ*

Alistair Hay, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Toxicology, University of Leeds*

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association

Avenso Holo Jackson, Executive Director, Liberians United to Expose Hidden Weapons

Sven Jordt, Associate Professor, Duke University / American Thoracic Society*

Gregory Koblentz, Associate Professor, George Mason University*

Detlef Mannig, Managing Director, Mannig Consulting

Christina McAllister, Director of Partnerships in Proliferation Prevention Program, Stimson Center*

Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, Board Member, Nonviolence International Canada

Margaret Muturi, Phd, Kenyatta University*

Benjamin Ruiz Loyola, Professor, Facultad de Química, UNAM*

Mina Rozei, Project Coordinator, CWC Coalition

Camilo Serna, Director, Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas 

Andrea Stricker, Deputy Director of Non-Proliferation and Biodefense Program, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies*

Sadik Toprak, Professor, Istanbul University*

Ralf Trapp, Phd, International Disarmament Consultant*

Ferruccio Trifirò, Honorary Director, Journal of Italian Chemistry Society*

Deborah Klein Walker, Past President, American Public Health Association

Paul Walker, Chair, CWC Coalition

Craig Williams, Director, Kentucky Environmental Foundation

Jean Pascal Zanders, Phd, The Trench

*Institution is listed for identification purposes only.