By RFE/RL staff
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has scoffed at Russia’s “transparently false allegations” that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb” and reaffirmed Washington’s support for Kyiv in its fight to repel invading Russian forces.
“The United States rejects Russian Defense Minister Shoigu’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory and that the world would see through any attempt by Russia to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation [of the war],” Blinken told his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, according to a readout of a call the two had on October 23.
Blinken was referring to recent comments by Shoigu that Russia has “concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a dirty bomb.”
Shoigu made the comments during phone calls with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, and French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu on October 23. Shoigu didn’t provide any evidence to support his claim.
A dirty bomb is a mix of explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive powder or pellets. When the dynamite or other explosives are set off, the blast carries radioactive material into the surrounding area.
Blinken and Kuleba discussed U.S. and international commitments to continue to support Ukraine with “unprecedented security, economic, and humanitarian assistance for as long as it takes, as we hold Russia accountable,” the State Department readout said.
They further noted ongoing efforts to manage the broader implications of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, it added.