Shoigu Calls Western Defense Ministers on Kiev’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Provocation
Oct. 23, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu conducted a series of calls with the Defense Ministers of Turkey, France, the U.K. and the U.S. today. On the U.K. call, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated, according to TASS: “On October 23, 2022, telephone conversations were held between the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army S.K. Shoigu, and British Defense [Secretary] B. Wallace. The situation in Ukraine was discussed.” TASS described that Shoigu “conveyed to his British colleague concern about the possibility of provocations by Kyiv with the use of a dirty bomb.” A dirty bomb is normally a conventional bomb, rigged with nuclear material, so as to spread radiation upon explosion.
Earlier on Oct. 23, Shoigu held similar telephone conversations with French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar; and later he did the same with the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. With Lecornu, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the two spoke on “the situation in Ukraine, which is consistently veering towards further uncontrolled escalation.”
Britain’s Defense Ministry, avoiding any mention of dirty bombs, said that Secretary Wallace “refuted” claims that Western countries sought to help Ukraine escalate the conflict and “cautioned that such allegations should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation.” The Pentagon said that Austin told Shoigu that he “rejected any pretext for Russian escalation” in Ukraine.
Fyodor Lukyanov, the head of the Moscow-based Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, a Moscow-based group of top foreign affairs analysts, commented on Shoigu’s phone conversations. “It appears that there is a shared feeling that the tensions have approached the level that could raise the real threat for all.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, while omitting “dirty bomb” and inserting “nuclear weapon,” attacked Shoigu’s phone calls during his Oct. 23 evening video address: “If anyone can use nuclear weapons in this part of Europe—it can be only one source—and that source is the one that has ordered Comrade Shoigu to telephone here or there.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that “Russian lies” about a dirty bomb “are as absurd as they are dangerous. Firstly, Ukraine is a committed NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] member: We neither have any ‘dirty bombs’ nor plan to acquire any. Secondly, Russians often accuse others of what they plan themselves.”