Russia accuses Kyiv of poisoning some of its soldiers in Ukraine

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Botulinum toxin type B is a neurotoxin that can cause botulism when ingested.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday accused Ukraine of poisoning some of its military personnel in the Russian-held part of the Zaporizhzhia region in southeastern Ukraine in late July.

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

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

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

He did not say how many servicemen had suffered or what their current condition was. He did not specify 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 may also have medical uses.

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

“The department (Russian Defense Ministry) does not specify whether the poisoning could have been caused by expired canned meat, in which botulinum toxin is often found. The late rations were massively denounced by the forces occupation since the first days of the invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it was conducting a further investigation into an incident in which Volodymyr Saldo, the Russian-installed administration in Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region, fell ill.

Saldo, a former mayor of the city of Kherson appointed to head the region of the same name when Russian troops invaded in early March, fell ill in early August.

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

Ukraine and Western countries see it as an unprovoked war of conquest aimed at annihilating Ukraine’s national identity.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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