Two Russian soldiers killed and 28 seriously ill ‘after being given poisoned food by Ukrainian civilians’

Dozens of troops said to be in intensive care while hundreds more hospitalised with alcohol poisoning

Chiara Giordano
Sunday 03 April 2022 15:30 BST

Related video: Black smoke rises after Russian missiles strike fuel depots in Odesa

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Two Russian soldiers have died and 28 are seriously ill after being given poisoned pastries by Ukrainian civilians, Ukraine’s intelligence agency has claimed.

The troops from Russia’s 3rd Motor Rifle Division died immediately after eating the food in Izium, Kharkiv, the country’s Main Directorate of Intelligence announced in a Facebook post on Saturday.

A further 28 soldiers are in intensive care following the poisoning, while about 500 more are in hospital suffering from heavy alcohol poisoning, according to the post.

Officials claimed Russia was writing the troops off as “non-combat losses”.

The agency said in the post: “Ukrainians resist the occupiers by all available means.

“According to available information, local residents of the Izium district (Kharkiv region) ‘treated’ Russians from the 3rd Motor Rifle Division of the Russian Federation with poisoned pies.

“As a result, two occupiers died at once, another 28 were taken to the intensive care unit. Their current state is being clarified.

“About 500 more servicemen of the 3rd Motor Rifle Division of the Russian Federation are in hospitals due to severe alcohol poisoning of unknown origin.”

Russian troops handed control of Chernobyl nuclear power plant back to Ukrainians and left the heavily-contaminated site on Thursday after soldiers reportedly suffered radiation poisoning.

Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said the withdrawal from Chernobyl came after soldiers received “significant doses” of radiation from digging trenches in the forest in the exclusion zone around the closed plant, although there has been no independent confirmation of this.

The withdrawal took place amid growing suspicions that the Kremlin is using talk of de-escalation in Ukraine as cover while regrouping, resupplying its forces and redeploying them for a stepped-up offensive in the eastern part of the country.

This map shows the extent of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Mass graves with civilians tied up and “bullet holes at the back of their heads” have been found in areas where Russian troops are pulling back, according to the Ukraine government.

The spokesman for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky revealed the full horror uncovered in cities near Kyiv as Vladimir Putin’s forces abandon attempts to conquer the capital.

Ukrainian troops entered Bucha, a city 15 miles northwest of the capital, on Saturday where they reportedly found at least 20 dead men lying in the street.

The city’s mayor said they had buried 280 people in mass graves – while some of the few civilians who stayed and survived enjoyed their “first bread in 38 days”.

Locals said the dead were civilians who were killed by departing Russian soldiers without provocation.

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