Kyiv says Russia’s talk of ‘dirty bombs’ is ‘dirty blackmail’

Ukraine has accused Russia of participating in “dirty blackmail”, in response to a warning from Moscow that Kyiv is planning to escalate the war by using “dirty bombs” on the battlefield. “

Andriy Yermak, Chief of Staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a Telegram channel post on Monday: “The dirty Russian ransomware looks very primitive.

His comments come after statements by Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s foreign supporters including the US, UK and France rejecting claims by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the weekend that Kyiv was planning to use Use a conventional explosive to release radioactive material.

Shoigu initiated calls Sunday with Western defense officials including Lloyd Austin of the US, Ben Wallace of Britain, Sébastien Lecornu of France, as well as Hulusi Akar of Turkey.

“The situation in Ukraine, which tends to escalate further, out of control, was discussed. . . Army General S Shoigu expressed concern to his French colleagues about possible provocations from Ukraine with the use of ‘dirty bombs’,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement synthesizing one of the calling.

Yermak said Shoigu’s comments were an attempt to pressure foreign supporters to cut off weapons supplies and pressure Kyiv to join peace talks that would impede military efforts to liberate the country. more than 15% of the territory in the eastern and southern regions is still occupied by Russia.

He said the Russians are “cowards who dream of negotiations to prevent their downfall”. “There will be no negotiations,” he added. And everything dirty will stay with the Russian Federation in isolation, in which it will inevitably end. “

Yermak describes Russian president Vladimir Putin as completely faltering Invasion of Ukraine was launched eight months ago as “the dirty war with civilians and the horrors of defeats on the battlefield”.

He spoke hours after the US, UK and France issued a joint statement warning Russia against using false claims about Ukraine’s alleged attempt to use “dirty bombs” as a pretext to escalate. war.

“Our countries have made it clear that we all transparently reject Russia’s false accusations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its territory,” the statement read. . “The world will approve any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation. We also reject any Russian reasons for escalation.”

The three countries pledged to “continue to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people with security, economic and humanitarian assistance in the face of President Putin’s brutal war of aggression.”

Russia has carried out a two-week “kamikaze” missile and drone strike campaign systematically targeting Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure, causing nationwide power outages far from the front lines. Russian forces continued to lose ground in the face of the Ukrainian counterattack.

In its daily report on the Russian invasion, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said on Sunday: “Shoigu may have sought to slow or suspend Western military aid to Ukraine and could undermine the Nato alliance in scare calls with several NATO defense ministers. “

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday that “the fact that they do not trust the information transmitted by the Russian side does not mean that it is a threat to use ‘ Such dirty bombs’ no longer exist. The threat is obvious.”

Zelenskyy, in an overnight video address with the nation, described Shoigu’s “carousel of phones” on Sunday as a sign that Russia was preparing a false flag provocation and had plotted to blame for Kyiv.

“If Russia calls and says Ukraine is preparing something, it means: Russia has prepared all these things,” he said.

As part of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum of Understanding signed by the US, UK and Russia, Ukraine handed over the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal inherited from the Soviet Union in exchange for security guarantees. The country has no nuclear weapons but operates four nuclear plants, including the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south, which Russian forces occupied early in the invasion.

Additional reporting by Felicia Schwartz in Washington


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