Yellow Rain

Soviet chemical warfare

American intelligence experts have long suspected that chemical poisons developed in the Soviet Union have been used in military operations in Afghanistan, Laos and Cambodia. Eyewitnesses in all three countries have reported seeing "yellow rain" fall from the skies. Shortly afterward, victims on the ground have suffered burning sensations, convulsions and massive internal bleeding. Many have died painful deaths. Still, there had never been scientific evidence that the poison came from the Soviet Union. So the U.S. has withheld any official accusation of Soviet violations of a 56-year-old international agreement banning chemical weapons.

TIME has learned that in at least...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!