Top Line

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told foreign defense officials on Sunday that—without citing any evidence—Ukraine may be planning to use a “dirty bomb”, a claim US and UK officials warned against Russia’s invasion. In what may have been an excuse to stop, Russian President Vladimir Putin had voiced the possibility of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons weeks later.

Key Facts

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Shoigu discussed the use of a “dirty bomb” – or an explosive containing radioactive nuclear waste material – in separate phone calls with British, French and Turkish defense officials on Sunday, according to conversations seen by Russian politician,

Shoigu told his French counterpart, Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, he was “concerned about”potential provocationsUsing a dirty bomb from Ukraine, the Russian readout said, noting the situation in Ukraine is “deteriorating rapidly.”

The Russian defense chief reportedly also discussed the dirty bombs with UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

According to Russia’s readouts, Shoigu did not provide evidence that Ukraine plans to use weapons with nuclear waste material in any of the three talks.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba vehemently denies Russia’s allegations Tweet and added that Ukraine has no dirty bombs, adding that “the Russians often accuse others of what they themselves plan.”

The British Defense Ministry said Statement That Shoigu accused Ukraine of planning military action to trigger the war, which Wallace denied, warning that Russia “should not use the allegations as an excuse for further escalation.”

chief critic

White House National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson dismissed Shoigu's allegations, calling the allegations preparatory to Ukraine's use of dirty bombs.transparently wrongWatson said the world would see "through any attempt" by Russia to use the accusations to escalate the invasion of Ukraine. Shoigu also talked with His US counterpart—Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin—held the two leaders' second call in three days on Sunday, and a Pentagon readout said Austin "rejected any excuse for Russian escalation."

tangent line

Russia has made similar baseless allegations From the very early days of the invasion, Ukraine was planning to use dirty bombs and nuclear weapons. In March, the Russian claimed he uncovered evidence of a bio-weapons program run by the Ukrainian government and funded by the US, which was denied by both Kyiv and Washington.

main background

Monday marks nine months since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. According to a Gallup poll released last week, 70% of Ukrainians support fighting until Ukraine wins the war, compared to 26% who said they would prefer talks to end the conflict quickly. Rhetoric on both sides has intensified in recent weeks, especially earlier this month when the only bridge connecting Russia and Crimea was damaged in an explosion that Putin called "an act of terrorism" by Ukraine. who has not claimed responsibility for the attack. Putin has also indicated that he may be ready to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, intensifying his threats.

Russia's defense chief makes baseless claims of Kyiv ready to use 'dirty bombs' (politician)