Russia informs China of concerns over ‘dirty bomb’ in Ukraine; Moscow ‘might turn operation into war on terror’ if nukes are used against Russians
Published: Oct 27, 2022 11:08 PM
Black smoke rises over Ukraine's capital Kyiv on October 10, 2022, following Russian missile attacks earlier in the day. Photo: VCG

Black smoke rises over Ukraine's capital Kyiv on October 10, 2022. Photo: VCG

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe held a video conversation recently with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in which both sides exchanged views on "international and regional issues of shared concern," as the Russian defense chief also called his counterparts of other major powers on Wednesday to tell them about his concerns over the use of "dirty bombs" in Ukraine. 

Tan Kefei, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense, confirmed the conversation at a routine monthly press conference on Thursday, but without giving further details about the recent discussion between the Chinese and Russian defense chiefs. 

According to TASS, both sides discussed the situation in Ukraine, said a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry. Shoigu conveyed Russia's concerns to Wei about Ukraine possibly using a "dirty bomb" in a false flag operation," the statement reads. 

Shoigu earlier also held a conversation with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, providing him with the same information. On October 23, the Russian defense chief informed US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar about Kiev's plot to carry out a false flag operation, Tass reported. 

Chinese military expert Song Zhongping told the Global Times that "Russia is trying to inform every major power and key parties which share concerns over the Ukraine crisis. This means that Moscow is trying to make it clear that it has reliable intelligence about the potential danger, and if a 'dirty bomb' really goes off in Ukraine, it has nothing to do with the Russian side, and all parties should make efforts to prevent such a risk."

The "dirty bomb" is not a cutting-edge weapon of mass destruction, and can be easily produced as long as the manufacturer has enough nuclear materials and radioactive substances. However, the damage it can cause to soil, air and people is still very serious, so it's forbidden by the international community, Song said. "Only terrorists will use such weapons," he noted. 

Russia has also made its claims about the "dirty bomb" in Ukraine to the UN Security Council and said "using a dirty bomb would be an act of nuclear terrorism." Its comments have been rejected by the foreign ministers of the US, UK and France, who called the claims made by Russia "unsubstantiated allegation."

Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow with the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Thursday that while Russia and Ukraine conduct a war of words with each other on the matter of dirty bombs, the US and its European allies will treat every voice from Russia as "cognitive warfare," so they will ignore its warnings even if the concerns are based on reliable intelligence. 

This is why Russia is also sharing its concerns with China and India, as Moscow believes that the non-Western major powers would at least be more reasonable and neutral, and treat its information seriously. "If Russia is one day attacked by Ukraine's dirty bomb, Russia hopes China and India will be able to speak on its behalf it in the international arena," Cui said. 

It's entirely possible to see dirty bombs used in the battlegrounds, Chinese analysts said.

A responsible stance would be to call for peace and to stop adding oil to the fire, but this is not what the West will do, as they want to see Russia and Ukraine continue to make each other bleed, experts said.

Song said Russia now is also trying to warn those forces which intend to use the dirty bomb, and if one is used to attack Russians, it's possible that Moscow will turn its military operation in Ukraine into a "war on terror," and Russia will also use more deadly weapons to retaliate against Ukraine. This will surely bring more casualties and damage to both sides, and this is not what the international community would want to see.