The Kremlin’s propaganda arm has claimed Russian troops were “poisoned in a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine,” raising fears Moscow will seek to justify the use of chemical weapons in the country.
Putin’s mouthpiece Russia Today reported that traces of botulinum toxin type B, an “organic poison of artificial origin,” were found in samples taken from soldiers, according to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry.
But Kyiv hit back, suggesting the soldiers might simply have eaten contaminated meat.
Ukrainian emergency services in the city of Zaporizhzhia are rehearsing for a nuclear disaster amid fighting around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which bears the city’s name and is just 30 miles away
The Russian Defense Ministry accused Kyiv of “domestic terrorism” and insisted Russian troops were hospitalized “with signs of serious poisoning” after being stationed near the village of Vasilyevka in the Zaporozhe region on July 31
Kyiv was accused of “domestic terrorism” and Russian troops were “hospitalized with signs of severe poisoning” after being stationed near the village of Vasilyevka in the Zaporozhye region on July 31.
The statement added: “The Zelenskyi regime authorized terrorist attacks using toxic substances against Russian personnel and civilians.”
But in response, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said the alleged poisoning could have been caused by Russian forces eating out-of-date canned meat.
The Russian ministry report did not say 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 Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said: “The ministry (the Russian Defense Ministry) does not clarify whether the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat, in which botulinum toxin is often found.
“Since the first days of the invasion of Ukraine, the occupiers have complained massively about overdue rations.”
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.
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.
Workers in hazmat suits hose down the body of a volunteer on a stretcher to rehearse what they would do in the event of a disaster at the nearby Russian-held Zaporizhia nuclear power plant
Ukraine has accused Russia of storing explosives in and around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and is now preparing what they would do in the event of an explosion or meltdown there
Ukraine and Western countries see it as an unprovoked war of conquest aimed at erasing Ukraine’s national identity.
Yesterday it was reported that Ukrainian rescue workers are conducting drills in case of a meltdown at the Zaporizhizhia plant. The nuclear power plant is not located in the Ukrainian-controlled city that bears its name, but is actually 30 miles down the Dnipro River on Russian-held territory.
Kyiv says Moscow has turned the nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest – into a military base, stockpiled explosives in and around the reactors and prepared a “false flag” attack. Ukraine’s nuclear regulator says the Russian commander in charge of the plant has told his troops they must be ready to blow it up rather than let Ukraine retake it.
Ukrainian responders will be provided with full hazmat suits, masks, gloves and rubber boots to protect them from the effects of radioactive fallout in the event of a disaster in Zaporizhia
A volunteer posing as a radioactive victim of a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia power plant is hosed down by Ukrainian rescue workers in a parking lot that would serve as a reception center for those caught in the fallout
An employee of Ukraine’s Emergencies Ministry wearing a hazmat suit is hosed down after taking part in nuclear disaster preparedness drills in the town of Zaporizhia, near the Russian-held nuclear power plant of the same name
Russia has occupied the power plant since the first weeks of Putin’s war in Ukraine, after its troops left occupied Crimea and seized control of large areas of southern Ukraine.
In recent weeks, however, warnings have been raised about the power plant’s stability as Russia seeks to disconnect it from Ukraine’s main power grid and divert its power to Crimea – and as a major Ukrainian counter-offensive to retake the south.
Guterres is expected in Lviv today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the situation around the power plant and the possibility of sending a team of international inspectors to ensure its safety.
Erdogan, making his first visit to Ukraine since the war began, will also discuss a deal that would allow Ukrainian ships to transport vital grain shipments out of the country to avoid global famine.