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Russia could be preparing for chemical weapons attack and 35 killed in strike on base near Lviv

Russia could be preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, an act that would draw a “severe price,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned Sunday.

Sullivan told CBS News that Russian rhetoric is increasingly claiming the Ukrainians and Americans will potentially use chemical or biological weapons “and that’s an indicator that, in fact, the Russians are getting ready to do it, and try and pin the blame elsewhere and nobody should fall for that.”

Asked what consequences would result, he said he would not go beyond what President Joe Biden indicated on Friday: “They will pay a severe price.”

“We have communicated that directly to the Russians,” he said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

The aftermath of what appears to be an attack at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in western Ukraine early on Sunday. The Times received these photos from a fighter at the center.

The warning comes hours after a Russian airstrike on a military training base in western Ukraine killed at least 35 people and wounded 134, a local official said. The assault brought the war to within 25 miles of the border with Poland after a senior Russian diplomat warned that Moscow considered foreign shipments of military equipment to Ukraine “legitimate targets.”

The United States and NATO have regularly sent instructors to the range, also known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, to train Ukrainian military personnel. The facility has also hosted international NATO drills. Just weeks before the war began, Florida National Guard members trained there. 

The base has become a crucial logistics hub and training center since Russia’s invasion began, The New York Times reported. It was not immediately revealed whether foreign fighters were at the center when the assault took place.

The governor of the Lviv region, Maksym Kozytskyi, said Russian forces fired more than 30 cruise missiles at the Yavoriv military range, located about 20 miles northwest of the city of Lviv.

American photojournalist Brent Renaud has been killed in Ukraine, the The New York Times said in a statement. The Times said Renaud was a “talented photographer and filmmaker” but was not on assignment for the news outlet and had not worked for the Times since 2015.

By John Bacon and Katie Wadington | USA Today

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