Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday accused Ukraine of poisoning some Russian-controlled soldiers in the Zaporizhia region of southeastern Ukraine, Reuters reports.
Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as seen from satellitePhoto: Dreamstime.com
An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry responded that the poisoning was allegedly caused by Russian forces consuming expired canned meat.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported that several Russian servicemen were taken to a military hospital with symptoms of severe poisoning on July 31. Tests revealed the presence of botulinum toxin type B in their bodies.
“Regarding chemical terrorism sanctioned by the regime of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, Russia is preparing evidence with the results of all analyses,” the ministry said in a statement.
The report did not say how many soldiers were injured or what their current condition was. It doesn’t say what the “source” is.
Botulinum toxin type B is a neurotoxin that causes botulism when previously contaminated food is consumed, but it may also have medical applications.
Ukraine’s reaction to poisoning allegations
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, but Interior Ministry adviser Anton Zerashchenko commented on the Russian accusation by telegram.
“The department (of the Russian Defense Ministry) did not clarify whether botulinum poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat, which is common. Since the first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, occupation forces have complained massively about expired food,” he said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said it was conducting further investigations into the illness of Volodymyr Zalto, appointed head of the Kherson regional administration in the Russian-occupied region.
Salto, a former mayor of Kherson who was appointed to lead the Kherson region when Russian troops invaded in early March, fell ill in early August.
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