May 22, 2022

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Roman Abramovich Asked If He Was Dying After Apparent Poisoning: NYT

2 min read
  • Abramovich and Ukrainian officials were victims of a suspected poisoning in March, reports said.
  • The symptoms were so bad that Abramovich asked if he was dying, The New York Times reported.
  • The Russian oligarch was pictured at more peace talks earlier this week.

The Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich asked a scientist, “Are we dying?” after an apparent poisoning earlier this month, The New York Times reported, citing someone who was present.

The suspected poisoning is said to have taken place on the night of March 3 after Abramovich and Ukrainian peace negotiators attended talks between Ukraine and Russia in Kyiv, Ukraine, Bellingcat and The Wall Street Journal reported.

After the meeting, Abramovich and two members of the negotiating team, including Ukrainian MP Rustem Umerov, experienced symptoms that included red eyes, constant and painful tearing, and peeling skin on their faces and hands, the reports said.

Abramovich was also blinded for a few hours and had trouble eating, a person familiar with the matter told the Journal.

The symptoms were so bad that Abramovich asked a scientist who was inspecting him whether he was dying, the Times reported on Tuesday, citing a person who was present during the examination.

Bellingcat reported on Monday that experts examining the suspected attack concluded that the dosage and type of toxin was “likely insufficient to cause life-threatening damage, and most likely was intended to scare the victims as opposed to cause permanent damage.”

The conditions of Abramovich and the Ukrainian officials have since improved, the Journal reported, and Abramovich was pictured in another round of peace talks in Turkey on Tuesday. It’s unclear whether Umerov and the other negotiator were also present at the talks.

It’s also unclear who carried out the suspected attack. Bellingcat said the apparent victims did not know who might have been behind the attacks. The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that it could have been orchestrated by Russian hard-liners who wanted to sabotage the peace negotiations.

A US official downplayed the reports, telling Reuters that intelligence suggested the symptoms were caused by environmental factors.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, told reporters on Tuesday that the reports didn’t “correspond to reality,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Russia has carried out poisoning attacks in the past, including on the former spy Sergei Skripal and Alexei Navalny, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.


https://www.businessinsider.com/roman-abramovich-asked-are-we-dying-after-apparent-poisoning-nyt-2022-3

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