Russia claims Ukraine ‘dirty bomb’ in final stages

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on a tank near Borivske, Kharkiv region on October 23, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
MOSCOW — Russia on Monday claimed that Ukraine was in the “final stages” of developing a so-called dirty bomb to use against Moscow’s forces, allegations Kyiv said were “absurd” and could signal Russia’s battlefield plans.اضافة اعلان

The claim from Moscow comes after a string of unexpected and rare calls between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with counterparts from several NATO countries, in which he said Kyiv was planning to deploy the weapon.

But they also follow on the back of weeks of military defeats for Russia in southern and eastern Ukraine, with observers of the conflict and Kyiv saying the Kremlin was becoming increasing desperate.

“According to the information we have, two organizations in Ukraine have specific instructions to create a so-called ‘dirty bomb.’ This work is in its final stage,” Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov said on Monday.

At its most basic, a dirty bomb is a conventional bomb laced with radioactive, biological, or chemical materials which are disseminated in an explosion.

Inspection mission
Since Russia’s allegations and thinly veiled threat of potential nuclear escalation in the Ukraine fighting, both Kyiv and its allies have fiercely rejected the claim.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the head of the UN nuclear agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, accepted his request to “urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine, which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb”.

The UK, the US, and France issued a joint statement dismissing the claim earlier on Monday.

“Our countries made clear that we all reject Russia’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” according to the statement.

Ukraine has managed, with the help of Western-supplied heavy weapons, to claw back swathes of its territory from Russia in the east and south, while its power grid has been pummeled ahead of winter’s arrival.

As momentum has swung toward Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has faced fissures in domestic support for his campaign, as a messy draft of troops and battlefield losses challenged notions of quick conclusion.

Neither side in the conflict are near sitting down for peace talks. Putin is under intense pressure to achieve a result he can call victory and the Ukrainians are generally intensely mobilized to take back their territory.

The Kremlin said on Monday that France and Germany were showing “no desire” to participate in mediation on the conflict and praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s offer to organize talks.

Turkey helped broker the deal that allowed grain exports to resume under the UN’s aegis in July, and also played a role in a prisoner swap in September, one of the largest exchanges.

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