What is a dirty bomb and why is Russia talking about it?


Russia is planning to use a so-called dirty bomb. Ukraine and its Western allies dismissed the allegations as a false flag operation that Moscow could use as a pretext to escalate the Kremlin’s war with its neighbor.

A dirty bomb is a weapon that combines conventional explosives, dynamite, with radioactive materials such as uranium. It is often referred to as a weapon for terrorists rather than countries, aiming to spread fear more than to strike a military target.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly denied Moscow’s allegations, and Kyiv’s foreign minister has invited UN inspectors to visit Ukraine to show they have nothing to hide.

Here’s what you need to know.

without providing any evidence; Moscow claims that scientific institutions in Ukraine have the technology needed to create a dirty bomb. Moscow has accused it of planning to use it.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said at a press conference on October 24 that it was planning a provocation involving the detonation of a dirty bomb.

“The purpose of this provocation is to accuse Russia of using weapons of mass destruction in operations in the Ukrainian theater and to undermine confidence in Moscow, and to launch a powerful anti-Russian campaign in the world,” said Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia’s radiation agency. Chemical and Biological Defense Forces.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke on the phone with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Oct. 23, according to a U.S. official familiar with the conversation.

Shoigu made similar comments to his French and British officials.

Russia plans to present its allegations against Ukraine to the UN Security Council on October 25, according to Reuters.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on May 9.  During the 2022 Victory Day military parade, he drove along Red Square.

Russia’s accusations against Ukraine United States Great Britain The European Union and NATO strongly deny it, and have alternately accused Moscow of trying to launch its own false flag operation.

“Everyone understands everything very well, who understands the source of everything dirty that can be imagined in this war,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a nightly speech on October 23.

The White House said on October 24 that it was “monitoring as closely as possible” possible preparations to use a dirty bomb in Ukraine, but said there was no indication that such a weapon would be used anytime soon.

The UN nuclear watchdog said on October 24 that it would send inspectors to visit two nuclear sites in Ukraine after receiving a request from Ukrainian authorities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is aware of a statement issued by the Russian Federation on Sunday regarding alleged activities at two nuclear sites in Ukraine, according to a news release on the agency’s website.

The IAEA did not provide the location of the two sites.

On October 24, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “Unlike Russia, Ukraine has always remained transparent. We have nothing to hide.”


The blast from a dirty bomb is produced with conventional explosives. A nuclear weapon explodes as a result of a nuclear reaction, such as the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Japan during World War II.

“A nuclear bomb creates an explosion thousands of times more powerful than conventional explosives that can be used in a dirty bomb,” according to a fact sheet from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

An explosion from a nuclear weapon could flatten an entire city. for example, The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945 obliterated 2.6 square miles (6.2 square kilometers) of the city, according to ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Conventional explosives in a dirty bomb can damage a flat or very few structures.

At the same time, A nuclear explosion cloud can cover tens to hundreds of square miles. DHS said nuclear material could spread throughout the area.

Most of the radioactive material from a dirty bomb would spread within a few city blocks or a few square miles, DHS said.


In 1995, Chechen rebels failed to detonate one in a Moscow park, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda or ISIS have been reported to be building or attempting to build a dirty bomb, but it has never been detonated.

DHS said it was unlikely that the dirty bomb would “deliver enough radiation to cause health effects or kill large numbers of people.”

The Texas Department of Health Services explains why.

He said building a dirty bomb capable of delivering deadly radiation would require large amounts of lead or steel and shielding.

But using such shielding materials would make the bomb bulky, difficult to move or deploy, require heavy equipment and remote controls, and limit how far the radiation can spread, the Texas state agency said.

The radiation produced by the dirty bomb causes exposure similar to that received during dental x-rays, according to Texas Health Services.

“It’s like breaking a rock. If someone threw a stone at you, it could hurt you or cause physical harm,” the department explained. “If they take the same rock, break it up into grains of sand, and then throw sand at it, the chances of actually doing any damage to you are significantly less.”

According to DHS, the severity of radiation sickness is affected by exposure over time. Preventive measures can be as simple as walking.

“Walking away from the scene (of an explosion) can provide significant protection because the dose rate drops significantly with distance from the source,” DHS said.

People have to cover their noses and mouths to avoid absorbing the radiation. To escape from the clouds of dust, to wear it indoors. They should discard their clothing in a plastic bag and gently wash their skin to remove contamination, DHS said.


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