Russia accuses Kyiv of poisoning some of its soldiers in Ukraine

Russia accuses Kyiv of poisoning some of its soldiers in Ukraine

A tank of Russian troops drives into the Russian-held part of Zaporizhia region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022. Portal/Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo

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Aug 20 (Portal) – Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday accused Ukraine of poisoning some of its soldiers in the Russian-controlled part of southeastern Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region in late July.

An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry responded that the alleged poisoning could have been caused by Russian forces eating out-of-date canned meat.

The Russian Defense Ministry said a number of Russian soldiers were taken to a military hospital on July 31 with signs of severe poisoning. Tests showed a toxic substance, botulinum toxin type B, in their bodies, sources said.

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“Regarding the fact of chemical terrorism sanctioned by the[Ukrainian President Volodymyr]Zelenskyy regime, Russia is preparing supporting evidence with the results of all analyses,” the ministry said in a statement.

It was not said how many soldiers had suffered or what their condition was now. It didn’t say what the “supporting evidence” was.

Botulinum toxin type B is a neurotoxin that can cause botulism when ingested in previously contaminated food, but it may also have medicinal uses.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a Portal request for comment, but Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko commented on the Russian allegation via messaging app Telegram.

“The Ministry (Russian Defense Ministry) does not clarify whether the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat, in which botulinum toxin is often found. Overdue rations have been massively lamented by the occupiers since the first days of the invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it was conducting an additional investigation into an incident in which Volodymyr Saldo, the Russian-deployed administrative officer in Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region, fell ill.

Saldo, a former mayor of the city of Kherson who was appointed head of the eponymous region when Russian troops overran it in early March, fell ill in early August. Continue reading

Russia says its “military special operation” launched on February 24 aims to demilitarize Ukraine and protect Russian speakers on what President Vladimir Putin called historic Russian lands.

Ukraine and Western countries see it as an unprovoked war of conquest aimed at erasing Ukraine’s national identity.

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Portal reporting; Edited by Timothy Heritage

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