Putin's Defense Minister Warns Ukraine Preparing 'Dirty' Nuclear Bombs — US Says Allegations Just Pretext For Russia To Launch Attack Of Similar Kind

Russia's Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu raised the specter of radiological warfare on Sunday during calls with western defense chiefs as he warned that Ukraine is preparing to use a "dirty bomb."

What Happened: Shoigu's statements were rebuffed by U.S. officials who said they were "transparently false" and a pretext that would allow Russia to launch an attack of a similar kind, reported The Hill.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected Shoigu's claims by saying, "the world would see through any attempt by Russia to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation," according to a readout of the call."

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Why It Matters: Shoigu's call to United Kingdom's Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made reference to Ukraine, which the Russian official said was "planning actions facilitated by Western countries, including the UK, to escalate the conflict in Ukraine." 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Shoigu of undertaking a "phone carousel" to spread allegations about the "so-called ‘dirty' nuclear bomb."

The Pentagon said last week that the United States is completely prepared to deal with a nuclear scenario with Russia.

The comments came after Russia's President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. and its allies had engaged in "nuclear blackmail" against Russia. The Russian leader said the country would use "all means" at its disposal to protect its territorial integrity. 

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsAntony BlinkenEurasiaRussia-Ukraine WarVladimir PutinVolodymyr Zelenskyy
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