WAR PROPAGANDA: The West helps Ukraine produce a “dirty bomb”

Ukrainian emergency response personnel take part in exercises to prepare for a possible attack on the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia , Ukraine, 29 June 2023, amid the Russian invasion.
© EPA-EFE/NICOLETTA STOYANOVA   |   Ukrainian emergency response personnel take part in exercises to prepare for a possible attack on the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia , Ukraine, 29 June 2023, amid the Russian invasion.

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Ukraine may use a radiological bomb under a false flag operation to accuse Russia of nuclear terrorism, pro-Kremlin media writes, citing Moscow officials.

Propaganda: The West is helping Ukraine build a dirty bomb that might be used to accuse Russia of nuclear terrorism

NEWS: Western states continue to bring radioactive substances to Ukraine, and they might be used to produce a “dirty bomb”, the head of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Protection Forces of Russia, Igor Kirilov said, commenting on the military and biological activity of the USA in Ukraine.

“These substances can be used to create a radiological bomb. A false flag attack could take place”, Kirilov said.

The Russian general explained that dangerous chemical and radiological substances arrive in Ukraine via Poland and Romania, while the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak is allegedly in charge of logistics.

Last September, the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Yuri Kokov, told “Rossiiskaya gazaeta” that an act of provocation carried out by Kyiv under Western coordination, which would consist in the detonation of a “dirty bomb” was being planned. Russia would be accused of nuclear terrorism, but Moscow discovered these plans and reacted.

NARRATIVES: 1. The West helps Ukraine produce a radiological bomb. 2. Kyiv could use a “dirty bomb” under a false flag operation.

BACKGROUND: The “dirty bomb” is a radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with explosives for the purpose of contaminating the area of dispersal in the wake of a conventional blast. This type of bomb - which has so far not been used - came into focus in the context of Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when concerns emerged that the jihadist group might be trying to build a “dirty bomb”.

Russian propaganda launched the narrative in the fall of 2022, claiming that president Volodymyr Zelenskyy had ordered the detonation of a radiological bomb in the Odesa region or in Crimea. At the time, the Russian media was trying to draw the attention of the international community and the Western public to the dangerous plans of Kyiv authorities, which no longer deserve to be supported by Western countries. The narrative has now been reprised in a slightly modified version, accusing the West as well of wanting to detonate a radiological bomb in Ukraine.

PURPOSE: To justify Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. To bolster the image of Russia as a citadel under siege, forced to defend itself.

Fact: Ukraine is not manufacturing “dirty bombs”, has no nuclear program and wants to secure its nuclear plants against Russian attacks

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Neither in 2022 nor in 2024 did representatives of the Russian authorities provide any evidence when accusing Ukraine or the West of manufacturing a radiological bomb. For instance, Daily Moscow published a video in which General Igor Kirilov presents some diagrams regarding the Ukrainian nuclear threat. However, no documents, photos or testimonies have been presented as basis for these diagrams. The Russian general also talked about US-manufactured biological weapons and biological laboratories in Ukraine, whose presence would justify Russia's aggressive actions, without presenting any evidence to corroborate their existence. At the end of 2023, Ukraine received nuclear fuel from the USA for its nuclear power plants in the context of the energy crisis caused by Russian shelling. This, however, has nothing to do with the “dirty bombs” Russian propaganda referred to.

The West cannot support and encourage Kyiv to produce a “radiological” bomb when nuclear security is one of the main concerns of Western states. Both the UN General Assembly and G7 states have called on Russia to eliminate risks to nuclear security that have emerged after Moscow's troops took control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in eastern Ukraine. Russian nuclear blackmail has been criticized several times, considered as a threat to global security. Moreover, most Western states have signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. According to this document, nuclear states pledge not to transfer nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and not to support, encourage or cause any non-nuclear-weapon state to manufacture or otherwise obtain them.

A signatory to the aforementioned treaty, Ukraine does not have any program to produce nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, a fact confirmed by a report of the UN High Representative for disarmament. At the same time, terrorist activity or deliberate pollution of the environment is prohibited under Ukrainian legislation. Under Law no. 25/2003, Ukraine pledges to combat and prevent technological terrorism, which includes the use of any types of bombs. At the same time, Kyiv has no interest in bombing its own territory under a false flag operation and causing unforeseen ecological consequences. Moreover, according to the final resolution of the Swiss peace summit, Ukraine and partner states have argued in favor of the safe use of nuclear energy – including at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which must operate in accordance with IAEA requirements and under its supervision . Both the West and Ukraine have expressed constant concerns for nuclear security.

  • Publication / Media:
    ria novosti
  • Date of publication:
    25/06/2024
  • Target audience:
    The Russian-speaking population of Russia, Belarus and Russian-held territories of Ukraine
  • Amplification:
    1PRIME.RU, SPUTNIK.BY, TASS.RU, GAZETA.RU, REGNUM.RU, DAILYMOSCOW.RU, Telegram channels of Russian media outlets
  • Political affiliation:
    The Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The West supports Kyiv’s efforts to manufacture a dirty bomb

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Marin Gherman

Marin Gherman




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