By Anthony Marcus, special correspondent in Russia. Eurasia Business News, August 20, 2022

Russian servicemen, who performed operational tasks in the Zaporozhye region, on July 31 were taken to a military hospital, reported the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The military would have showed signs of severe poisoning. The medical examination would have revealed the presence of an organic poison of artificial origin – botulinum toxin type “B”, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“On July 31 of this year, Russian servicemen performing tasks in the area of the village of Vasilyevka, Zaporizhia region, were taken to a military hospital with signs of severe poisoning. As a result of the examination, a toxic substance was found in the body of the servicemen – botulinum toxin type “B”,” reported on August 20 at 02:29 PM the Russian Ministry of Defense on its Telegram channel. The Ministry accuses Ukraine of poisoning the Russian military and said that they would send evidence of Kiev’s involvement in the incident to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Russian Ministry of Defense called the mass poisoning of Russian soldiers a terrorist attack.

An additional investigation has been launched into what happened to the head of the Russian administration of the Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, who in early August was transported to the Moscow Research Institute of Emergency Care named after N. V. Sklifosovsky. Chemical warfare agents could have been used against the official.

Vladimir Saldo was hospitalized on August 4. He said that the deterioration of health was the result of complications after the coronavirus.

The deputy head of the Russian military-civil administration of the Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, said that the illness of Vladimir Saldo was the result of a severe overstrain. Russian doctors suspect the poisoning of Vladimir Saldo.

The lethal dose of this poison is about 1 microgram. At the same time, its creation is very difficult due to the fact that the toxin is produced in the complete absence of oxygen.

Ukrainian authorities have not commented so far the accusations of poisoning Russian military.

The use of biological weapons is prohibited by public international law since 1925, with the signature of the Geneva Protocol on “the prohibition of the use in war of asphyxiating, toxic or similar gases and bacteriological means“. This text retains all its relevance today. In 1972, another treaty completed the prohibition regime : The 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons. This convention, also known as CIABT, is the main legal tool in the fight against biological proliferation. The CIABT created the legal basis for the prohibition of biological weapons and now has 183 States parties.

The use of biological weapon during an armed conflict is strongly condemned by the international community. The treaties of 1925 and 1972 show the consensus on the global ban on such weapons.

Update to come.

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