Russia: “Governors of annexed Ukrainian provinces of Kherson and Luhansk were poisoned” | War Ukraine and Russia

Kherson and Luhansk are two of four provinces that Russia says it will annex in September 2022.

The alleged poisonings are said to date back months ago. Leonid Pasechnik, the Russian-appointed governor of Luhansk, was “seriously poisoned” with phenol on December 5 last year, according to Moscow. Pasetjnik was a former officer of the Ukrainian SBU security service, who later became a pro-Russian separatist. The Russians do not provide any information about his current state of health.

Phenol is used in the processing of disinfectants and insecticides, among other things. Swallowing the product, inhaling its vapors or absorbing it through the skin leads to acute poisoning, including chemical burns and disturbances in the central nervous system. In severe cases, contact with phenol can lead to death.

The Russian governor in Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, ended up in the hospital with symptoms of poisoning in the summer of 2022, according to new information. At that time it was known that Saldo was ill. But Russia did not communicate about a possible poisoning at the time. Saldo was a former mayor of the city of Kherson and a pro-Russian lawmaker in the Ukrainian parliament. In the meantime, Saldo has been visibly working in Cherson for quite some time now.

Russia regularly sees its “lackeys” targeted. For example, the Russian security service FSB announced in December that it had prevented at least 18 “terrorist attacks” in the Russian-annexed Crimea last year. These included assassination attempts on prominent figures and attempts at sabotage. Ukraine has also often targeted officials appointed by Russia in the annexed eastern region.