According to the Wall Street Journal, three delegates experienced “red eyes, continuous and excruciating tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands” (WSJ).
Along with Ukrainian peace negotiations, sanctioned Russian businessman and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has endured “symptoms compatible with poisoning.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, three delegates experienced “red eyes, continuous and excruciating tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands” (WSJ)
According to open-source investigators at Bellingcat, the three victims experienced the symptoms, which included “eye and skin inflammation and piercing pain in the eyes.”
It comes a month into Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has killed thousands and forced millions to abandon their homes, while terrible tales of alleged war crimes, including attacks on children, the bombardment of a maternity facility, and charges of war rape, have emerged.
On March 3-4, talks between Russia and Ukraine took place on Ukrainian territory, and Mr. Abramovich went along with “another Russian entrepreneur,” according to the group.
He was recently added to the UK government’s sanctions list, his assets, including the football club, were frozen, and he was barred from leaving the country.
A spokesperson for Bellingcat, a Dutch investigative journalism organization, said in a tweet: “Bellingcat can confirm that three members of the delegation attending the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia on the night of March 3-4, 2022, experienced symptoms consistent with chemical weapon poisoning.”
The WSJ also said that Abramovich and Ukraine peace negotiators were poisoned earlier this month.
On March 3, negotiations ran until around 10 p.m., after which many delegates went to a Kyiv apartment later that night, when they began feeling symptoms, according to Bellingcat.
The symptoms did not go away till the next morning.
According to Bellingcat, experts have concluded that the symptoms are “most likely the result of international poisoning with an unspecified chemical weapon.”
The victims drank “just chocolate and water in the hours before the symptoms developed,” whereas a fourth delegate who likewise drank these did not experience any side effects.
Medics believe the poison employed could have been a porphyrin variation, organophosphates, or bicyclic compounds, but they have not been able to prove this clearly.
“The specialists concluded the dosage and type of toxin used was likely insufficient to inflict life-threatening damage, and most likely was designed to scare the victims rather than create permanent damage,” the Bellingcat representative noted.
“The victims stated that they had no idea who would have been interested in carrying out an attack.”
Mr. Abramovich’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was unaffected.
His spokeswoman informed the WSJ that they had no knowledge of any potential poisoning.
According to the WSJ, the purported strike is being blamed on hardliners in Moscow who allegedly tried to derail peace talks.