Russia Claims Ukraine Preparing To Use Dirty Bomb, US Says Claims Are False
MOSCOW - Russia has claimed that Ukraine is preparing a possible 'provocation' involving the use of a 'dirty bomb', while the United States and Ukraine claim that this might be a pretext for a Russian 'false flag' operation, and that the claims by Russia are 'false'.
Russian Defense Ministry, Sergey Shoigu spoke on the phone to the Defense Minister for France discussing "the situation in Ukraine, which is consistently veering towards further uncontrolled escalation", according to Russian state news agency RT.
Shoigu voiced 'concerns' about a 'possible Ukrainian provocation' which may involve the use of a 'dirty bomb'.
The Russian state news agency then quoted RIA Novosti as citing "sources in different countries including Ukraine” as saying that Kyiv is preparing to detonate “a dirty bomb or a low-yield nuclear weapon" and then RT added, "on its own territory".
It said that the goal would be to 'accuse Moscow of using weapons of mass destruction in a ploy to launch a powerful anti-Russia campaign".
The report made claims that two Ukrainian institutions have already been "tasked with manufacturing a 'dirty bomb', with the work now at the 'final stages'.
The Russian news agency also claimed that Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky's administration has been engaged in behind-the-scenes' talks with British officials in order to secure the transfer of nuclear arms components to Kyiv, Ukraine.
Statements By Ukraine Regarding 'Dirty Bomb' Accusations From Russia
Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba put out multiple statements regarding Russia's accusations:
"A conversation with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. We agreed: by dispersing the wave of disinformation about the "dirty bomb", the Russian Federation may be looking for an excuse for a false flag operation. They discussed practical steps to strengthen air defense. The State Secretary assured that the USA is making every effort for this."
"I spoke to @SecBlinken. We both agreed Russia’s ‘ dirty bomb ’ disinformation campaign might be aimed at creating a pretext for a false flag operation. We also discussed further practical steps to boost Ukraine’s air defense. Secretary affirmed the US spares no effort to this end."
"I spoke to my French [email protected] We both condemned Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ disinformation campaign. We also coordinated the next steps in our work with other countries and within the UN and IAEA to counter these lies and avert any false flag operations by Russia."
A 'dirty bomb' is an improvised weapon that uses a mixture of nuclear waste material and conventional explosives. It does not tend to have the same yield as a nuclear bomb would, but such an explosion can still spread radioactive waste material into the atmosphere.
"In my call with @RafaelMGrossi I officially invited IAEA to urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb. He agreed. Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always been and remains transparent. We have nothing to hide."
"I had a call with @JosepBorrellF who welcomed Ukraine’s decision to invite IAEA experts. We agreed to work actively together in the coming hours and days to deliver facts and counter another Russian lie about Ukraine in the Global South, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia."
I appreciate @RafaelMGrossi’s prompt response to our invitation. IAEA experts are expected to arrive shortly and prove Ukraine has neither any dirty bombs nor plans to develop them. Good cooperation with IAEA and partners allows us to foil Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ disinfo campaign.
Russia's Letter To UN Security Council Regarding Ukrainian Dirty Bomb Claims
Vassily Nebenzia: "All these reckless Ukrainian provocations would lead to largescale radiological contamination and may cost thousands of innocent lives. The authorities in Kiev and their Western backers will bear full responsibility for all the consequences of such irresponsible actions.
We urge the Western countries to exert their influence on the regime in Kiev to abandon its dangerous plans threatening international peace and security. They will have grave consequences and cause mass casualties among civilian population.
We call on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to do everything in his power to prevent this heinous crime from happening.
Amidst the anti-Russian propaganda campaign led by the Western countries, we would like to stress that the Russian Federation has not intended, nor intends to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. There have been no reference to the possibility of the use of such weapons by either the leadership of our country or of the Ministry of Defense.
I would be grateful if the present letter could be circulated as an official document of the Security Council and of the General Assembly (under Agenda item 99 "General and complete disarmament”). Please accept, Excellencies, the assurances of my highest consideration."
DoD Statements Regarding Russia's 'Dirty Bomb' Accusations Against Ukraine
Department of Defense: Attributed to Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder:
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to review decisions made at this month's NATO Defense Ministerial and to discuss a range of transatlantic security topics.
The Secretary thanked Secretary General Stoltenberg for his steady leadership of the Alliance, particularly during this period of Russia's ongoing, unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The leaders discussed recent diplomatic engagements with Russia, Russia's false accusation that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own soil, and the need for Russia to de-escalate.
Both leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining strong deterrence and defense and emphasized that Russia's actions have resulted in a stronger and more unified NATO.
Secretary Austin assured Secretary General Stoltenberg of the United States' continuing commitment to the Alliance.
DoD: Secretary Austin assured Secretary General Stoltenberg of the United States' continuing commitment to the Alliance.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - "There are reports of Russian allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb in Ukraine. "These allegations are false," a senior Defense Department official told reporters at the Pentagon today.
"The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation. Notably, however, … we still have seen nothing to indicate that the Russians have made a decision to employ nuclear weapons," the official said.
The department will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep the lines of communication open between allies, partners, Ukrainians and the Russians, the official said.
"In the meantime, our focus remains on continuing to work with the international community to provide Ukraine with the security assistance and support they need to defend their country," the official added.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Friday and again yesterday.
Friday's call was initiated by Austin, whereas Sunday's call was requested by Shoigu as a follow-up to Friday's discussion, the official said.
Austin also spoke to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Friday and has another call scheduled for later today, the official said.
"You can expect to see a series of phone calls with allies and partners in the days ahead, as well," the official added.
The Russians continue military strikes across Ukraine, with many appearing to target Ukraine's power grid, the official said. These strikes have employed various missiles and drones to include Iranian-provided unmanned aerial vehicles.
In the Kharkiv region of northeast Ukraine, Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their lines in support of their counteroffensive with both sides trading artillery fire, the official said. "We do assess that the Ukrainians have liberated some villages in the region and continue to make advances as they [apply] pressure toward the east."
Russian forces in this area are largely focused on reinforcing their defensive lines, the official noted.
Near the town of Bakhmut in Ukraine's Donetsk region, fighting remains heavy and dynamic with Russian forces attempting to take the city, which is being contested by Ukrainian forces, the official said.
In the Kherson region of southeast Ukraine, Ukrainian forces continue to make deliberate and calibrated operations in support of their counteroffensive along three main axes, the official said. "We assess that Russian forces are largely digging in to strengthen their defensive lines in this sector."
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