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The U.S. is concerned that “false allegations” made by Russia that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb” will be used as a pretext for further escalation on Ukrainian territory.
“We reject Russia’s clearly false allegation that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said at her daily press briefing.
A “dirty bomb” is an explosive device that, once detonated, disperses radioactive elements in the atmosphere and on the ground surface.
Jean-Pierre recalled that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, reported on Monday a telephone conversation with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, to invite a team of experts to inspect the Ukrainian facilities.
Meanwhile, Kuleba revealed on Twitter that he had spoken with his U.S. counterpart, Antony Blinken, and that both agreed that “Russia’s disinformation campaign on the ‘dirty bomb’ could be aimed to create a pretext for a false flag operation” by Russia, that is a covert operation designed to appear to be carried out by another.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the threat of the possible use of a “dirty bomb” by Ukrainian authorities is “real.”
“The fact that they do not trust the information 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 real,” Peskov said, adding that such information was communicated by Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, to his counterparts from the U.S., the U.K. and France.