A suspected poison attack is said to have been carried out on Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian negotiators, perhaps by Moscow hardliners aiming to derail peace negotiations, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the issue. ayokinews.com reports
Abramovich, who was recently sanctioned by Western countries in an effort to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his invasion of Ukraine, has been said to be traveling between Kyiv, Moscow, and other negotiating locations.
Abramovich and at least two top Ukrainian negotiators had symptoms like as red eyes, excruciatingly wet eyes, and peeling skin on their face and hands during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.
The specific perpetrators of the alleged poisoning were unknown, but those targeted accused hardliners in Moscow, for attempting to sabotage current peace efforts, according to the Journal.
Health condition of Abramovich and the other negotiators’ have improved and their lives are not in danger, the sources said.
Studying the incident, Christo Grozev, an investigator with open-source collective Bellingcat, said, “It was not intended to kill, it was just a warning.”
Grozev, who concluded in 2020 that Kremlin operatives poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent following an inquiry, saw photographs of the alleged Abramovich attack, but no samples could be obtained in time for forensic scientists to identify poison, according to the journal.
On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that his administration has received offers of help from Russian businessman and oligarch, notably Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club and has long had close ties to Putin.
Addressing the media, Zelensky noted that the businessman stated he wanted to “do something” and “assist somehow” in de-escalating Russia’s military onslaught on Ukraine, an attack which has killed thousands of people and displaced many.
Speaking, Zelensky didn’t mention a poison attack and according to the journal, the presidential spokesman had no knowledge of such attack.
An AFP inquiry for comment on the suspected poisoning received no response from Abramovich’s aides.
Source (Credit): AFP