March 25, 2023

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“Dirty bomb”, seen by analysts as a psychological weapon. What is the purpose of Moscow’s “nuclear” speech, in fact

Russia had no intention and does not want to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the Russian ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday evening.

And Moscow’s UN delegation claims that Ukraine would like to abandon the plan to use a “dirty” bomb, after the Kremlin made its so-called efforts public.

In the West, however, no one seems to have believed Russia, and there are quite a few voices claiming that, in fact, Moscow is the one who would have planned to detonate such a bomb in Ukraine.

Joe Biden, President of the USA: “Russia would make an extremely serious mistake if it used a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.”

Western countries reject the Kremlin’s statements, but Russia insists on claiming that the Ukrainians are planning to use a so-called “dirty bomb”, with conventional explosives and radioactive material, right on their territory.

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Volodymyr Zelensky

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov: “We reaffirm the significant danger posed by Ukraine’s plans that we have reported.”

The Kremlin’s message, however, was criticized by a military expert, who asked for evidence live on Russian television.

The “dirty bomb” would not change the course of the war

Victor Olevici, expert at the Center for Current Policies, Moscow: “If there is real information, real evidence about where this ‘dirty bomb’ is and where they want to use it if there are documents, show the documents. These challenges do not happen without a written order. If the Russian military services have all this data, it’s time to reveal it.”

Western experts say that detonating a “dirty bomb” would not bring any benefit on the battlefield.

Scott Roecker, The Nuclear Threat Initiative: “It wouldn’t change the course of the war. I see, rather, a pretext for a certain step in the direction of escalation, made by the Russian side, if something were to happen. It’s more of a psychological weapon, when you try to scare people, to intimidate them”.

In fact, “dirty bombs” are circulated more and more often by Russian propagandists as the solution to all the problems that Russia encounters in Ukraine.

Some analysts believe that Moscow’s “nuclear” speech has the ultimate goal of inducing a state of panic in the West and stopping the consistent military aid that Kiev receives from the Western states.

The Kremlin is also counting on the situation of Ukrainian refugees, as is evident from the statement of a Russian politician: “I advise the sane population of Ukraine, who still retain their sanity, to flee to the West. Otherwise, a “dirty” bomb will definitely be detonated, we will have radioactively contaminated territories, there will be no more food, light, water. Better to flee with the millions to the West. Ursula von der Leyen is waiting for them”.

On the other hand, the Russians are not just hitting energy infrastructure. For six months, the residents of Nikolaev – a city on the shore of the Black Sea, which remained under Ukrainian control – have not had drinking water. And military and UN experts believe – as they admitted in a BBC investigation – that Russian forces deliberately cut off the water supply by bombing the main supply pipeline.

Putin: “It is important for us to focus on the real situation”

Not satisfied with the defeats on the front, some Russian propagandists promote a policy of total destruction of Ukrainian cities.

Vladimir Solovyov, director at Russia One: “If we had occupied Kharkiv… it is clear that the main logistics center is there. Let’s wipe him off the face of the earth if we have to! Where does the threat to Kherson come from? What are the nearest cities? Where do the Ukrainian military come from? From Nikolaev? Then destroy Nikolaev!”.

President Putin has asked his subordinates to quickly find solutions to solve the logistical problems and equipment shortages facing the Russian military.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia: “It is important for us to focus on the real situation, on the real needs in certain areas. As for the special operation, the equipment must not only be available, but also modern and efficient.”

The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, has already visited a tank factory in the Ural Mountains, from where he announced that measures have been taken to increase the production of weapons.

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