Dirty Bomb Scare Threatens Nuclear Escalation In Ukraine War
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is approaching a tipping point.
Earlier this week, the Russian Defence Ministry announced that it was readying forces and capabilities to deal with radioactive fallout. The announcement followed the claims from Moscow that Ukraine was developing a dirty bomb.
According to a report from the Financial Times, Igor Kirillov, commander of Russia’s chemical, nuclear, and biological defence forces has said that the regime in Ukraine could spread radioactive material on its citizens in order to garner support globally while pinning the blame on Russia.
Further, Kirillov stated that Ukraine was in the final stage of building the dirty bomb.
Support from Washington and London was also rumoured in building the dirty bomb in Ukraine, as per the report.
The regime in Ukraine, however, dismissed these claims, calling it a stunt to pressure western powers for them to withdraw their support against Russia, and usher in a peace deal that suits Moscow’s interests.
NATO’s three nuclear powers, America, France, and the United Kingdom, were quick to issue a statement, dismissing the claims from Moscow, and calling it a pretext deployed by Moscow to escalate tensions in Ukraine.
However, this is the first time that Russia has begun preparation for a nuclear fallout since February 2022.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reached out to his counterparts in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Turkey to discuss the dirty bomb claims, after which the three NATO nuclear forces issued a joint statement.
Earlier this year, in March, Kirillov had accused Ukraine of setting up a network of labs that could develop bioagents to target some ethnicities.
Another report, quoting US military officials, stated that the nuclear threat from Russia, at this point, was absent, and that Moscow had not decided to use nuclear weapons and the dirty bomb threat was being used the prolong the tensions within the West.
On the brighter side, observers were welcoming the communication between officials in the West and Russia.
A dirty bomb is defined as a conventional explosive that is laced with radioactive material. However, upon the blast, it only contaminates some areas around the site with radiation but is not labelled as a nuclear weapon.
Yet, the deployment of a dirty bomb could threaten nuclear escalation in a war that is now testing the resolve of both Washington and Moscow.
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