Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich asked scientist 'are we dying?' after suspected poisoning

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly asked a scientist ‘are we dying?’ after experiencing symptoms of poisoning on March 3. Abramovich was among those who suffered worrying after-effects of attending talks with Ukrainian peace negotiators in Kyiv earlier this month.

Reports claimed the Russian oligarch and two Ukrainians, including MP Rustem Umerov, required medical attention following the meeting. Symptoms included constant and painful tearing, peeling skin on their faces and hands and red eyes.

A source close to Abramovich claims he was blinded and struggled to eat for hours after the alleged poisoning. And according to the New York Times, the 55-year-old was taken to hospital in such bad condition, he asked a scientist examining him whether he was on the verge of death.

He has since recovered from the alleged poisoning and was pictured at another peace meeting in Istanbul on Tuesday. Whilst the symptoms caused Abramovich severe distress, experts described the dosage and toxin used ‘likely insufficient to cause life-threatening damage, and most likely was intended to scare the victims as opposed to cause permanent damage.’

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Russia has a history of poisonings on notable figures, with Business Insider pinpointing former spy Sergei Skripal and Russian President Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny as examples. However, suggestions of the three individuals being poisoned have been shut down.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has accused the reports of not ‘corresponding to reality’, whilst a United States official suggested to Reuters that ‘environmental factors’ caused the symptoms. It’s also unknown who was responsible for the alleged attack, but popular culprits among theorists are Russian hard-liners looking to sabotage the peace talks.

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Abramovich distanced himself from his duties at Chelsea after Putin, who he has links with, ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Days later, he announced his intention to sell the club, 19 successful years after purchasing it, before the UK government and European Union hit him with numerous sanctions.

The bidding process is firmly underway and is entering its final stages. The preferred option from a narrowed-down shortlist of four candidates will be presented to the UK government and the Premier League on April 18. But Abramovich won’t reap the entire rewards of the £3billion sale whilst sanctions are in place, with the profits set to be frozen or donated to charities.



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