On Sunday, 23 October, USA, Britain and France jointly condemned Russia’s claims of Ukraine having plans to use a «dirty bomb», and warned Moscow against looking for excuses to escalate the conflict.
Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu held multiple phone calls with western counterparts, telling them about risks of a «dirty bomb» being used by Ukraine.
«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,» as the U.S. Department of State reported in a joint statement with Britain and France.
«The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,» the statement mentions.
«We further reject any pretext for escalation by Russia.»
A dirty bomb would poison a wide territory with radiation, making it dangerous for people. Such a bomb does not cause a nuclear explosion.
Last Sunday Shoigu had phone calls with his British, French and Turkish colleagues. During conversations he voiced concern about possible provocations from Ukraine involving a dirty bomb, as reported by the Russian Ministry of Defence.
Shoigu also spoke with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin last Friday and Sunday.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy denied the possibility of his country using a dirty bomb.
«So when today the Russian Minister of Defense [Shoigu] organizes a phone carousel and calls foreign ministers with stories about the so-called ‘dirty’ nuclear bomb, everyone understands everything well. Understands who is the source of everything dirty that can be imagined in this war,» he said.
«If anyone can use nuclear weapons in this part of Europe — it can be only one source — and that source is the one that has ordered comrade Shoigu to telephone here or there,» Zelenskyy added.
«If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this. I believe that now the world should react as harshly as possible,» he concluded.
Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs, commenting on Shoigu’s claims, said that this is Russia’s attempt to escalate the conflict and divert attention from Russian forces’ attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, he told LTV programme Rīta Panorāma.