Some reports suggest that as many as 22 soldiers have been taken seriously ill, although exact numbers have not been confirmed by Russia’s Ministry of Defence. Russian troops have suffered a number of poisoning incidents since they invaded Ukraine on February 24. Eight soldiers died after reportedly eating a pie laced with poison back in March.
Recently another eight Russian military personnel were reported to have died after their food was contaminated with rat poison at the 1472 naval hospital in Sevastopol.
Yesterday Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced another case of mass food poisoning among its troops.
They said that a number of Russian soldiers serving in the Zaporizhzhia region were rushed to hospital on July 31 after exhibiting signs of severe poisoning.
Tests on the military service personnel showed they had ingested a highly dangerous substance – botulinum toxin type B.
Botulinum B is a neurotoxin that can cause botulism when ingested in previously contaminated food.
The Russian Ministry of Defence accused Kyiv of conducting “chemical terrorism” in its statement.
They said: “On the fact of chemical terrorism sanctioned by the (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy regime, Russia is preparing supporting evidence with the results of all the analyses.”
The statement failed to say what the “supporting evidence” was, nor did it confirm the number or condition of the soldiers.
However, a former Ukrainian intelligence officer and current adviser to President Zelensky suggested the number of afflicted troops was 22.
Moreover, he claimed that the soldiers could have been poisoned by eating out of date canned food.
Oleksi Arestovych said: “In the troops of the Russian Federation, something is not going well again – if not HIMARS, then canned food is unusable.
“Mass poisoning in the Russian troops – 22 people and some went to Sevastopol.
“We are lost in conjectures, but it seems that the rear services there have messed up something with canned food.”
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, also said the poisoning could have been caused by out of date food.
Writing on his Telegram channel, he said: “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.”
Russia’s Ministry of Defence said it was also investigating the poisoning of the head of the Russian provisional administration of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo.
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Officials said they suspected that chemical warfare agents could have been used, according to the Baza Telegram channel.
Mr Saldo was taken seriously ill on August 3rd after eating food prepared by his new chef.
After losing consciousness, he was rushed to the Semashko hospital in Simferopol, where he was put into an induced coma.
He was later transferred to Sklifosovsky Research Institute in Moscow for further tesst and treatment.
Mr Saldo’s chef and maid are suspected of having tried to poison him, according to local reports.