Following Russia's initial major weekend accusation that Ukraine is plotting a 'dirty bomb' false flag incident, the Kremlin has announced it has "readied all forces and capabilities to fulfill tasks in conditions of radioactive contamination."
This is according to a briefing given Monday by the head of Russia’s nuclear, chemical, and biological forces. Western allies of Ukraine have responded by slamming the "false allegations" over the dirty bomb narrative, instead alleging Russia will itself stage a mass detonation and use it as a pretext for escalation of its invasion.
It remains that up till this point, with the conflict reaching the eight month mark, President Putin has yet to issue a formal war declaration. Kiev has claimed Russia is readying a narrative that would justify full invasion of its forces and complete national mobilization.
Ukraine on Monday is requesting that the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, urgently dispatch a team to Kiev in order to conduct inspections to counter Russia's claims of a Ukrainian "provocation" in the works.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba issued a public statement referencing a phone call with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi: "I officially invited IAEA to urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine, which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb. He agreed. Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always been and remains transparent. We have nothing to hide," Kuleba said.
Russia very specifically alleged that its intelligence shows Britain is helping the Ukrainians with the 'dirty bomb' plot, but Western officials say they didn't present evidence.
The head of Russia’s nuclear, chemical, and biological forces just gave a briefing about Moscow’s claims Ukraine is developing a “dirty bomb.” Russia has “readied all forces and capabilities to fulfill tasks in conditions of radioactive contamination.”https://t.co/c02P92ZLpM pic.twitter.com/f0qgdY6KWY— max seddon (@maxseddon) October 24, 2022
On Monday Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to critics as follows:
"The fact that they do not trust the information which was provided by the Russian side does not mean that the threat of the use of such a dirty bomb ceases to exist. The threat is present. This information was brought to the attention of the [Russian] defense minister's interlocutors. It's up to them whether they want to believe it or not," Peskov told journalists in a briefing Monday.
Given some of the Russian allegations were specific in terms of citing locations, the IAEA team which is now expected to deploy to Ukraine is likely to inspect some of the said sites:
The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti cited "reliable sources" when claiming that the "dirty bomb" had been commissioned by Ukraine to its Eastern Mining and Processing Plant in Zhovti Vody, Dnipropetrovsk Region, as well as the Institute for Nuclear Research in Kyiv.
The US, France, and the UK flatly rejected and condemned the Russian claims in a Sunday joint statement. They all rejected "Russia's transparently false allegations" following a series of phone calls at the request of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. He had additionally told France's Macron that the Ukraine situation is leading toward "uncontrolled escalation".