Russia accuses Kyiv of poisoning some of its soldiers in Ukraine

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A tank carrying Russian troops drives into Russian-occupied part of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya region, July 23, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo

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Aug 20 (Reuters) – The Russian defense ministry on Saturday accused Ukraine of poisoning some of its military personnel in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine’s southeastern region, Zaporizhzhya, in late July.

An adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry said in response that the alleged poisoning could have been caused by Russian troops eating expired canned meat.

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

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“On the fact of chemical terrorism sanctioned by the (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy regime, Russia is preparing supporting evidence with the results of all analyses,” the ministry said in a statement.

It 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 products, but it can also be used medically.

Ukraine’s defense ministry did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment, but Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko commented on the Russian accusation on the Telegram messaging app.

“The ministry (Russian Ministry of Defense) is not clear whether the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat, which often contains botulinum toxin since the early 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-installed government in the occupied Kherson region, fell ill.

Saldo, a former mayor of the city of Kherson who was appointed head of the region of the same name in early March when Russian troops overran it, fell ill in early August. read more

Russia says its “special military operation” launched on Feb. 24 aims to demilitarize Ukraine and protect Russian-speakers in what President Vladimir Putin historically called Russian land.

Ukraine and Western countries see it as an unprovoked war of conquest that aims to erase Ukraine’s national identity.

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Reporting by Reuters; Edited by Timothy Heritage

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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