Ukraine's president has ordered the use of a so-called “dirty” bomb, which contains radiological material, in the south of the country, according to a Russian state media propaganda narrative. In reality, Ukraine does not produce dirty bombs, nor does it intend to attack its own population, while nuclear blackmail is increasingly present in the speeches delivered by Russian politicians.
NEWS: “The diversion by means of which three leaks were caused at the Nord Stream gas pipeline was just a test. The Americans are preparing the future terrorist acts on the territory of Russia, aimed at destroying big infrastructure targets”, political scientist Dmitri Evstafiev said live on Russia 1, quoted by the PolitNavigator correspondent.
“I have no doubt that Zelensky has already ordered the production and use of a dirty bomb, most likely in the southern direction. I believe this dirty bomb will be used by Ukraine in the coming weeks. We will have to stop burying our heads in the sand and pretend we have not been warned. We must be prepared for the Kyiv regime's use of the dirty bomb on the regions that are reuniting with Russia”, Evstafiev said.
NARATIVE: Ukraine is going to use a “dirty”, radiological bomb in the south of the country.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In reality, only Russia can use a nuclear or a “dirty” bomb. Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Foreign Minister, as well as various parliamentarians and other officials have blackmailed Ukraine and the West several times, threatening with the use of nuclear weapons. Even during the signing ceremony of the “union agreement with Russia” of the regions illegally annexed by the Russian troops, Putin alluded to the American precedent of using the nuclear bomb in WWII. In fact, since the beginning of his regime, Putin or other Moscow officials have made multiple references to Russia's nuclear arsenal, talked about using it to defend Russia's territory (which, in their view, includes illegally annexed regions), and the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close associate of Putin’s, has explicitly called for the bombing of Ukraine with tactical nuclear weapons.
A dirty bomb, or radiological weapon, combines radioactive material with conventional explosives for the purpose of radioactive contamination in the area of dispersion of the conventional explosive agent. This type of bomb - which has so far not been used - came into focus in the context of the terrorist attacks staged by Al Qaeda, when concerns arose that the jihadist group might be trying to build a dirty bomb.
Kyiv has no program to produce nuclear, chemical or biological weapons , a fact confirmed by a report by the UN Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu. At the same time, any terrorist activity or intentional pollution of the environment is prohibited by law. Under law no. 25 of 2003, Ukraine directly committed to combating and preventing technological terrorism , which includes the use of any type of bombs.
At the same time, Ukraine does not recognize Russia's annexation of the regions in the east and south of the country, and the use of a radiological weapon on these territories, especially in the context of a successful offensive both in the south and in the east, is devoid of any logic and contravenes Ukraine’s military doctrine. Kyiv has no interest in bombing and attacking the Ukrainian population in the south of the country with radiological or other weapons. Ukrainian citizens there are waiting for their liberation, and have been trying to resist the invasion of the Russian troops from the very beginning through rallies, protests, blockades, etc.
The narrative in question is a continuation of the classic meta-narrative regarding the genocide allegedly committed by Kyiv against the Russian-speaking population of Donbas through terrorist methods. The dirty bomb, in fact, is a tool for the groups that want to terrorize the population. According to analytical reports, these bombs are intended to induce fear, sow panic and discourage the enemy's defensive or offensive efforts. The dissemination of this narrative is intended to accustom the public opinion in Russia to the idea that a nuclear disaster could occur in southern Ukraine, and that would be not Russia’s, but Kyiv’s fault, supported by the West.
Veridica has debunked a string of narratives by the Russian media regarding an alleged danger of Ukraine causing a nuclear incident. Russian media reported that the IAEA mission praised the Russian army for defending the Zaporizhzhia nuclear powerplant from Ukrainian bombing . In August, the Russian press wrote that, at the behest of the US, Kyiv will cause a nuclear disaster in Zaporizhzhia . There followed another false narrative, according to which an explosion would be caused to hide any trace of the American biological weapons laboratories.