There is a legitimate fear that the Russians could use chemical weapons to advance their invasion of Ukraine. There is an increased likelihood of this happening due to their slow progress on the ground and increased casualties from urban warfare. They may think that the escalation to chemical weapons will break the deadlock and perhaps force a surrender. The indiscriminate bombardment of urban areas shows that Russia does not care about civilian casualties or the negative international outlook of their unpopular and unprovoked war.
History has shown that the Russians are prone to using these weapons of mass destruction. The Soviet Army, and by extension the Army of the Russian Federation, have the use of chemicals as part of their military doctrine. They are constantly training in its use on their modern battlefield. Even as the USSR’s huge stockpiles were being destroyed at the end of the Cold War, they secretly developed a new plus deadly form of nerve agents called Novichoks. Experts agree that Russia’s goals in developing Novichoks were to have weapons that were undetectable in testing and could breach NATO military protective equipment.