Russia Accuses Kyiv Of Poisoning Its Soldiers In Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia
As the Russia-Ukraine war has entered its 178th day, Moscow, in fresh accusations has said that Kyiv is poisoning some of its soldiers in Ukraine, media reports said.
According to Al Jazeera, Russia’s defence ministry has accused Ukraine of poisoning some of its servicemen in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine’s southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia in late July.
In response to the alleged poisoning, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry said that the poisoning could have been caused by Russian forces eating expired canned meat.
The Russian defence ministry said a number of Russian servicemen had been 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, it said. “Russia is preparing supporting evidence with the results of all the analyses,” the ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a telephonic conversation on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement.
During the phone call, Putin stressed that “the systematic shelling by the Ukrainian military” of the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) creates the danger of a catastrophe that could lead to vast radiation contamination.
“The discussion focused on various aspects of the situation around Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that the regular strikes on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant by the Ukrainian military create the danger of a major nuclear disaster that could lead to radiation contamination of vast territories,” the statement read.
Ukraine and Russia have recently exchanged accusations over shellings on the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which is one of the largest atomic power complexes in Europe and generates a quarter of Ukraine’s total electricity.
In the phone call, Putin and Macron noted the importance of sending an IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia NPP as soon as possible to assess the real situation on the spot, the statement said.
“Both leaders noted the importance of sending an IAEA mission to the power plant as soon as possible to allow experts to assess the situation on the ground. The Russian side confirmed its readiness to provide the necessary assistance to the agency’s inspectors,” Kremlin said.
Vladimir Putin also stated Russia had invited experts from the UN Secretariat and the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the pre-trial detention centre in Yelenovka, where a large number of Ukrainian prisoners of war died following a missile strike by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Putin also briefed Macron on the implementation of the grain export deal signed in Istanbul last month, underlining that there are still obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilizers to world markets.
“The President of Russia also informed the French leader about the progress of the package deal signed on July 22 in Istanbul to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports and the export of Russian food and fertilisers to world markets,” the statement said.
Putin pointed out the remaining obstacles to the above Russian exports, adding that the situation is doing little to resolve global food security problems. (ANI)