Following being shuttled between Moscow, Belarus, and other negotiating venues, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Ukrainian lawmaker Rustem Umerov and another peace negotiator developed symptoms of being poisoned after a meeting in Kyiv on March 3.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which was one of the first news outlets to break the story, Abramovich, Umerov, and the unnamed Ukrainian negotiator developed symptoms of poisoning. They experienced painful tearing and peeling of the skin on their faces and hands and had red eyes. Later, it was revealed that the Russian oligarch had been blinded for a few hours and couldn’t eat properly.
The assertion came from investigative, open-source collective Bellingcat and Christo Grozev, who stated on Twitter that the three members of the Ukrainian delegation that attended peace talks on March 3 to 4 were poisoned. Bellingcat asserted that it had made the observation based on remote and on-site examinations. They had consulted two chemical weapons experts who determined that the symptoms were consistent with porphyrin, organophosphates, or bicyclic substances. However, the exact chemical possibly used could not be determined as there were no special laboratories to examine the three men properly.
They also reported that the three men also consumed chocolate and water before the symptoms appeared and that the fourth member of the delegation did not experience any symptoms.