Ukraine may use 'nuclear blackmail' to get more money from West – Moscow
Ukraine is trying to extract more financial and military aid from the US and other Western countries by using “nuclear blackmail,” possibly including the deployment of a dirty bomb against its own people to escalate the crisis in Eastern Europe, Russia’s Foreign Ministry suggested on Thursday.
“Maybe one reason Kiev uses nuclear blackmail is to extort more Western financial aid, including the large amounts of money that settle into their own bank accounts, and military assistance to protect themselves, rather than the people of Ukraine,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.
Zakharova noted that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky urged NATO earlier this month to undertake a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia. Zelensky insisted that his insinuations about preemptive NATO strikes on Russia had been mistranslated, and he really meant “preventive kicks.”
“He was willing to start a nuclear confrontation,” Zakharova insisted. “Now the president of Ukraine is holding out his hand for nuclear arms. Luckily, he doesn’t have them.”
While Ukraine doesn’t have nuclear warheads, Moscow has accused Zelensky’s government of building a “dirty bomb” and plotting to use it in a false flag attack that would be blamed on Russia to provoke increased Western involvement in the conflict. Such a device could be used to disperse radioactive material across a targeted area. Ukraine and its supporters have dismissed Russia’s claims as “absurd.”
“The Kiev regime is showing its sponsors… that if they do not continue to provide and increase their help, it will move on to Plan B,” Zakharova said. “We urge the West to use its influence with its Ukrainian underlings and tell them to turn back from this dangerous and reckless idea and all actions stemming from nuclear blackmail. It could have irreversible consequences, including possible mass loss of innocent civilian lives.”
The US and its allies have already provided an estimated $42.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including $28.3 billion from Washington alone. EU leaders have suggested that billions of dollars in funding should be provided for decades to aid Ukraine’s recovery, at least partly by liquidating frozen Russian assets.
“Ukrainian officials stopped hiding their desire to scrounge money a long time ago, and only welcome these offers,” Zakharova said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman accused Ukraine’s leaders of letting their country be used as a testing ground for Western defense contractors, knowing that their own citizens will suffer the consequences. “Even the most terrible sadists and child-killers of the past never suggested testing weapons on their citizens who were defending their own country,” she said.