A Ukrainian-born deliveryman is accused of trying to poison Russian Air Force pilots with a cake at a 20-year class reunion in a Krasnodar, Russia restaurant in an attempt allegedly organized by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), according to a Russian news site.
The Russian Kommersant news site reported on Tuesday that Yehor Semenov, a 32-year-old Ukrainian from the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol had been arrested and was accused of trying to poison a gathering of military pilots last Saturday in a plot engineered by the SBU.
It was reported that more than 70 military pilots and instructors, alumni of the Russian Armavir Higher Military Aviation School of Pilots (AVVAUL), had gathered in a restaurant in the city of Armavir in Russia’s Krasnodar region to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their graduation.
According to the report, Semenov arrived at the party with a cake bearing the AVVAUL emblem and several boxes of whiskey. He claimed to be a courier who had been asked to bring the gifts from a fellow graduate who was unable to attend the meeting but claimed he didn’t know the name of the benefactor and left abruptly.
The Kommersant story said that despite cutting into the cake the Russian military graduates found the situation to be “suspicious” and brought the incident to the attention of the local office of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
Citing an unnamed source, the news report said that the cake and the whiskey were examined and were found to have been laced with an unspecified poison. The FSB suspected the attempted poisoning had been organized by the Ukrainian SBU, but no evidence for this assertion was presented in the article.
Semenov was subsequently arrested and appeared at the Armavir City Court where he was sentenced to 15 days on an initial charge of disorderly conduct and petty hooliganism.
According to the independent Moscow Times, however, he is currently being investigated on terrorism charges in connection with the poisoning attempt.
Over the weekend students and tutors from AVVAUL expressed doubts about the incident on the school’s online forum, but later posts confirmed that the incident had occurred.
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