Moscow said on Monday that Ukraine had almost finished developing a “dirty bomb”, after the Russian defense minister, in calls with his NATO counterparts, claimed that Kyiv forces were planning to deploy tear.
“According to the information we have, two organizations in Ukraine have specific instructions to create a so-called ‘dirty bomb’. This work is in its final stages,” Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said in a statement on Monday.
He said Kyiv planned to accuse Russia “of using weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine and thus launch a powerful anti-Russian campaign around the world.”
The weapon would be composed of radioactive elements “creating radioactive contamination over large areas, and which can also lead to radiological diseases” after detonation.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the head of the UN nuclear agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, had agreed to his request “to urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine that Russia falsely claims to be developing a dirty bomb”.
The United Kingdom, the United States and France issued a joint statement on Monday rejecting the complaint.
“Our countries have made it clear that we all reject Russia’s patently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” the statement said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the West’s reaction was “consistent with its reckless support for his protege (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, its leniency for his Russophobic actions and the destruction of the civilian population”, during a press conference on Monday.
Zelensky on Sunday refuted the accusation and called for a tough response from the West.
“If Russia calls and says Ukraine is supposed to prepare something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelensky said in a video address on social media.