A number of Russian servicemen in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine’s southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia had been taken to a military hospital with signs of serious poisoning on July 31, the Russian defense ministry said on Saturday, accusing Ukraine of poisoning its servicemen.
Russia’s defense ministry says that tests showed Russian servicemen had a toxic substance, the neurotoxin botulinum toxin type B, in their bodies, stressing that Moscow is preparing supporting evidence with the results of all the analyzes to confirm the fact of chemical terrorism sanctioned by the regime in Kyiv.
After the Russian military medics confirmed the presence of artificially derived poison in the bodies of hospitalized troops, Moscow has threatened to send unspecified evidence of chemical terrorism to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The ministry’s statement did not specify what the supporting evidence is, how many servicemen had suffered, or what their condition was now.
Ukraine’s defense ministry refused to immediately comment on the accusations but Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior said that the alleged poisoning could have been caused by Russian forces eating expired canned meat, in which botulinum toxin is often found.
Botulinum toxin type B can cause botulism when ingested in previously contaminated food products, but, according to Gerashchenko, the Russian defense ministry didn’t clarify if the poisoning could’ve been caused by expired canned meat.
The Russian defense ministry is also conducting an additional investigation into the incident in which the head of the Russian-installed administration in Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region and former mayor of the city of Kherson, Volodymyr Saldo, was taken ill in early August.
Saldo was in a medically induced coma and on assisted ventilation before his transfer to a hospital in Moscow due to the worsening of his condition. While some doctors suspected that he had been poisoned, other reports suggested Saldo might have suffered a stroke.