Russia comments on Ukrainian ‘dirty bomb’ allegations
Russia is aware of the approximate location of where Ukraine is making a ‘dirty bomb,’ President Vladimir Putin has stated, adding that Kiev is now doing everything it can to cover its tracks. A ‘dirty bomb’ is a conventional munition with radioactive elements.
Putin’s comments came during a Valdai Discussion Club meeting outside Moscow on Thursday. The Russian president also noted that Ukraine could load nuclear fuel into the Tochka-U missile system in order to produce the explosive.
Moscow supports the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) upcoming inspection of two Ukrainian sites in order to gather information about the country’s ‘dirty bomb’ plans, Putin stated.
Earlier this week, the organization issued a statement that “the IAEA is preparing to visit the locations in the coming days. The purpose of the safeguards visits is to detect any possible undeclared nuclear activities and material.”
In recent days, Russia has been contacting other countries to bring attention to the issue of the Ukrainian ‘dirty bomb’. “I instructed [Russian Defense Minister Sergey] Shoigu to call all of his counterparts and inform them on this [Kiev’s ‘dirty bomb’ plan],” the president said. Shoigu warned the US, British, French, Turkish, Indian, and Chinese defense ministers about the possible provocation.
On Monday, the top diplomats of the US, UK, and France issued a joint statement rejecting Moscow’s claims as “transparently false allegations.” Their Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitry Kuleba, also denied the accusations and blamed Moscow for waging a disinformation campaign that “might be aimed at creating a pretext for a false flag operation.”
In a letter on Tuesday to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, stressed that Moscow would consider the use of a ‘dirty bomb’ by Kiev “an act of nuclear terrorism.” On the same day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the attitude of Western nations to Russia’s warning on the Ukrainian ‘dirty bomb’ intentions is “unacceptable given the seriousness of the danger that we are talking about.”