Ukrainian civilians in the northeastern town of Izyum fed poisoned food to occupying Russian soldiers, killing two of them and sickening another 28, according to Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence directorate over the weekend.
“Ukrainians are resisting the occupiers by all available means,” the Ukrainian intelligence agency said in a Saturday Facebook post. “According to available information, local residents of the Izium district (Kharkiv region) ‘treated’ Russians from the 3rd Motorized 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.”
“Another 500 servicemen of the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division of the Russian Federation are in hospitals due to severe alcohol poisoning of unknown origin,” the Ukrainian intelligence agency continued. “The Russian command attributes these cases to so-called ‘non-combat losses.'”
The poisoning incidents could not be independently verified.
The Ukrainian side has highlighted instances of civilian resistance throughout the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24. Some Ukrainian civilians have formed human blockades to stop Russian armored vehicles from passing through their towns.
Other Ukrainian civilians have been seen disrupting the Russian invasion by towing away their armored vehicles with tractors. Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy joked that Russia had become “one of the suppliers of equipment to our army,” because Ukraine had stolen or captured so many Russian vehicles.
Other Ukrainian civilians have resisted Russia’s invasion forces by more violent means, taking up arms and volunteering in territorial defense forces. Ukrainian civilians have also been constructing crude incendiary gas bombs, known as “Molotov Cocktails,” which can be thrown at Russian forces and spread a sheet of flame when they break open.
While many Ukrainian civilians have joined in the fighting against the Russian invasion forces, civilians have increasingly become the direct targets of Russian attacks. A pregnant woman injured in a maternity ward attack later died, along with her unborn child.
Another Russian airstrike reportedly hit a theater in Mariupol, killing 300 civilians, including children. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the theater was marked with the word ‘дети’ — Russian for “children” — in letters visible from the sky.
Over the weekend, Ukrainian officials claimed to have found the bodies of 410 civilians left in towns around the Kyiv area after Russian troops pulled back from the Ukrainian capital region. After Ukrainian forces retook one Kyiv-area town, Associated Press reporters observed the bodies of 21 civilians, including two with their hands tied and another with their legs tied. The Ukrainian side said Russian forces had indiscriminately killed civilians while they occupied the outskirts of Kyiv. The Russian side has dismissed accusations that they deliberately killed civilians and instead accused the Ukrainian side of staging the bodies.