A spokesman for Russian separatists recently said that his group may use chemical weapons against Ukrainian soldiers, sparking fears for officials in the United States.

Driving the news: Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the reports of chemical weapons are “deeply concerning.” 

  • Kirby said the world should expect a bloody assault in eastern Ukraine.

What he said: “I think sadly we can all expect that those same brutal tactics, that same disregard for civilian life and civilian infrastructure will probably continue as they now focus in a more geographically-confined area in the Donbas,” Kirby said, according to USA Today.

Flashback: There were reports Tuesday that Russian forces used chemical weapons in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, per BBC News.

Perspective: Ukraine has always fought to survive. So has my family
As bombs fall on Ukraine, their mission continues

Yes, but: There has been no evidence to confirm the use of the weapons.

The bottom line: Officials across Western nations have said that use of chemical weapons would represent “a serious escalation of the already devastating war,” per The Associated Press.