Russia has made unusual contact with three of the West’s nuclear powers in an attempt to make unfounded claims about a dirty bomb plot against Ukraine. This was amid concerns of further escalation.
Within the last 48 hours, Vladimir Putin’s defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu has spoken to his counterparts in the US. General Valery Gerasimov (the Russian president) has also spoken to his counterparts in the UK.
Russia used the conversations to claim that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb’ on its territory. This allegation was strongly denied by the allies. A dirty bomb is an explosive device that has been contaminated with radioactive material.
Moscow has been suspected by the West of being ready for a major “false flag” operation. This would involve launching an attack, blaming Ukraine and then using the carnage to justify a further Russian escalation.
This could be part the process of raising concerns about a dirty bomb before any theatrics can be put in place.
It could also signal that Moscow wants to try some type of renewed contact or negotiation as its armed forces are repeatedly defeated by the Ukrainian military, armed in Western weapons and as winter approaches.
Jens Stoltenberg is the head of the NATO alliance. He said Monday that he spoke to Lloyd Austin, US defense secretary, and Ben Wallace, UK, about “Russian’s false claim” that Ukraine was preparing to use a nuclear bomb.
Stoltenberg stated that NATO allies rejected the allegation in a Twitter statement. Russia must not use it to justify escalation. We must not lose heart in our support of Ukraine.”
Paris, London, and Washington also issued rare joint statements about Russia contact. They reaffirmed their support for Ukraine, and highlighted the talks between Mr Austin, Mr Wallace, and Sebastien Leoncu of France.
The statement stated that “Our countries made it clear that they all rejected Russia’s transparently false accusations that Ukraine is preparing for use of a dirty bomb against its territory.”
“The world will reject any attempt to use this allegation for escalation. We also reject any Russian pretext for escalation.
Monday was the day after talks with defense ministers. General Gerasimov of Russia spoke to General Mark Milley (the top US military officer) and also had a conversation with Admiral Tony Radakin, Britain’s chiefof the defence staff.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Admiral Radakin rejected Russia’s claims that Ukraine was planning to escalate the conflict and reiterated the UK’s support for Ukraine.
The statement added that the military leaders agreed on the importance to maintain open channels of communication with Russia and the UK to reduce the chance of miscalculations and facilitate de-escalation.