Moscow has accused Ukraine of engaging in “chemical terrorism” by employing toxins.
In late July, Russia’s defense ministry accused Ukraine of poisoning several of its soldiers in the Russian-controlled region of Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine’s southeastern area.
In response, a Ukrainian interior ministry adviser stated on Saturday that the claimed poisoning might have been caused by Russian personnel consuming expired canned meat.
On July 31, a number of Russian servicemen were transported to a military hospital with symptoms of “severe poisoning.” According to the Russian defense ministry, tests revealed a hazardous chemical, botulinum toxin type B, in their systems.
“Russia is preparing supporting evidence with the results of all analyses on the fact of chemical terrorism sanctioned by the regime of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy,” the ministry said in a statement.
It didn’t disclose how many soldiers were poisoned, what their current status was, or 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 have medical uses.
Russia’s defense ministry said its findings will be given to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
“Evidence of chemical terrorism by the Kyiv regime will soon be formally forwarded to the OPCW through the permanent mission of Russia,” it said.
An further inquiry was also being initiated into the probable poisoning of Volodymyr Saldo, the leader of the provisional administration of the Kherson region, using suspected chemical warfare agents, it added.
When Russian soldiers invaded Kherson in early March, Saldo, a former mayor of that city who had been chosen to lead the area of the same name, fell ill in early August.
Ukraine’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to the accusations, but interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko addressed the allegation on the Telegram messaging app.
“The department [Russian defence 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 complained about by the occupying forces since the first days of the invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
According to Russia, its “special military operation,” which began on February 24, aims to defend Russian speakers on what President Vladimir Putin has referred to as historical Russian soil while also demilitarizing Ukraine.
It has been perceived by Ukraine and Western nations as an unjustified war of conquest intended to destroy Ukraine’s national identity.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES