Ukraine has sought to poison authorities in the country’s former territories that have joined Russia, an official has said
Russia’s deputy minister of trade and industry, Kirill Lysogorsky, accused Washington and its allies of supplying “toxic chemicals” to Kiev, claiming their use in attacks on Russian officials in the former Ukrainian territories that joined Russia in 2022.
Lysogorsky presented these claims before the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), stating there is irrefutable evidence of such supply.
“We possess irrefutable evidence of the US and their Euro-Atlantic allies supplying Ukraine with toxic chemicals and their delivery means,” Lysogorsky said during the 28th session of the Conference of the State Parties – the highest body of the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog – at The Hague on Monday.
The chemicals, purportedly provided by the West, are allegedly handed over to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and foreign mercenaries. “There is also evidence of the Kiev regime’s intelligence agents using toxic chemicals and psychotropic substances against the leadership of the new subjects that joined Russia,” the official contended.
Lysogorsky referenced the four territories that voted to join Russia in the autumn of 2022. The list includes the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which declared their independence from Kiev in 2014 in the wake of the Maidan coup. The two regions had already been recognized as independent by Russia in February 2022, not long before the Russian military campaign against Kiev started. The other two are Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions.
The Russian deputy minister did not provide any further details on the alleged use of chemical agents by Kiev. However, according to Russian media reports, Moscow had previously filed 23 complaints with the OPCW, alleging chemical weapon use by Kiev, and recently submitted evidence to the UN body in mid-October. OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias pledged to review the data, but the UN body has not yet sent specialists to verify these reports.
In August 2022, Vladimir Saldo, the head of Kherson Region, was hospitalized, alleging poisoning by someone within his inner circle. Saldo said he had trusted the assailant initially but believed the individual was “bought over with a very large sum of money.”
Russian soldiers involved in the military operation in Ukraine were hospitalized with severe chemical poisoning later that same month. Traces of Botulinum toxin type B, which is an “organic poison of artificial origin,” had been discovered in samples taken from the servicemen, the Russian Defense Ministry said at that time, accusing Kiev of what it called “chemical terrorism.”