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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 forces drives around the Russian-controlled part of the Zaporizhzhya region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022. (Reuters) / Alexander Ermoshenko / File Photo

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

An adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said in response that the alleged poisoning may have been caused by Russian forces eating expired canned meat.

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

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“With regard to the fact of chemical terrorism imposed by the regime of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, Russia is supporting evidence with the results of all analyzes,” the ministry said in a statement.

She did not say how many soldiers suffered or what their condition is now. It did not say what “supporting evidence” was.

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

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, but Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerichenko commented on the Russian allegations on the Telegram messaging app.

“The Ministry of Defense (the Russian Ministry of Defense) has not clarified whether the poisoning was caused by expired canned meat, which often contains botulinum toxin. The occupying forces have widely complained about the delayed rations since the early days of the invasion of Ukraine.”

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The Russian Defense Ministry said it was conducting an additional investigation into an incident in which Volodymyr Saldo, the Russian administration in the occupied Kherson region, Ukraine, fell ill.

Saldo, the former mayor of Kherson who was appointed to head the district of the same name when it was overrun by Russian forces in early March, fell ill in early August. Read more

Russia says its “special military operation”, which began on February 24, aims to disarm Ukraine and protect Russian spokesmen in what President Vladimir Putin has called the historic Russian land.

Ukraine and Western countries consider it an unjustified war of invasion aimed at erasing Ukraine’s national identity.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Timothy Heritage

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.