Russian State Media Amplify Kremlin’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Accusations About Ukraine

Kyiv has denied any such plans

MOSCOW—Russian state media are amplifying the Kremlin’s accusation that Ukraine plans to detonate a so-called dirty bomb and blame Moscow for it, in what analysts say is an effort to rally domestic support for the Kremlin’s military campaign in Ukraine.

In a series of recent calls with U.S., European and Turkish counterparts, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Ukraine may deploy a dirty bomb, which could combine conventional explosives with radioactive materials.

Kyiv has denied any such plans. The U.S. and its allies have described the allegation as absurd. They have expressed concern that Russia might be seeking a pretext to escalate its war in Ukraine.

A string of top Russian officials repeated the dirty bomb accusation in recent days.

On Monday, Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological defense forces, claimed that Kyiv could detonate a dirty bomb and blame its actions on Russian aggression. On Tuesday, Russia reiterated the accusation in a letter to the United Nations Security Council.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia has “information that Ukraine is preparing for such a terrorist sabotage.” Later in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed the allegation, accusing the U.S. of supplying Kyiv with weapons while ignoring its plan to use a dirty bomb.

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Russia, Ukraine, War