Ukraine is preparing to send a “dirty bomb” containing radioactive materials to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a Kremlin-aligned news outlet reported Wednesday.
Citing a source familiar with the situation, Russian state media RIA Novosti also stated that Ukraine plans to blame Moscow for the attack as part of a nuclear launch by the Russian army.
“People’s specialists from Yuzhmash have already made a dummy missile of the Iskander complex, the head cluster part of which is planned to be filled with radioactive material, and then shot down by Ukrainian air defense forces over the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in order to announce a Russian launch of a nuclear charge,” the source told the outlet, adding that the “dirty bomb” will use a model of the Iskander missile.
Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Kremlin has reliable evidence that Ukraine is planning to use a “dirty bomb” in the ongoing war. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also reportedly called his counterparts from other countries and warned them about Ukraine’s potential provocations.
Russia later took its accusations to the United Nations Security Council during a closed-door meeting on Oct. 25, adding that Ukraine has ordered two facilities to work on constructing the dirty bomb, as per Reuters. It is unclear where these facilities are located.
Britain’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador James Kariuki later spoke to reporters and dismissed Russia’s allegations as “false,” adding that it is a part of “pure Russian misinformation.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also took to Twitter to invite the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the sites that Russia claimed are hired to develop a “dirty bomb.”
“IAEA experts are expected to arrive shortly and prove Ukraine has neither any dirty bombs nor plans to develop them. Good cooperation with IAEA and partners allows us to foil Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ [disinformation] campaign,” Kuleba wrote.
The IAEA inspection team previously visited Ukraine to evaluate the condition of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after missile strikes stoked concerns about a potential nuclear accident.