Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine



‘Ukraine has neither the capacity nor the need to use dirty bombs,’ says former UK ambassador

Ukraine “has neither the ability nor the need to use dirty bombs,” Nigel Gould-Davies, senior Russia and Eurasia researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote in a thread. discussion on Twitter.

“[Russian Defense Minister] Shoigu’s string of calls with the US, UK, France and Turkey claiming Ukraine was considering using a “dirty bomb” is worrying. We have seen nothing like this intense military diplomacy since the beginning of the war. Its substance is even more disturbing,” wrote Gould-Davies, who previously served as the UK’s ambassador to Belarus.

“Of course, Ukraine has neither the ability nor the need to use dirty bombs. Russia loses. No one will believe Shoigu anyway – especially [UK Defense Minister] Ben Wallace, who was lied to during his visit to Moscow before the invasion.

“Shoigu also warned of an ‘unchecked escalation.’ This is Russia stepping up… It’s so hard to see these calls as anything other than Shoigu doubling down on Putin’s bluffs or paving the way for the Russian nuclear use. Yes, nuclear (i.e. fission),” Gould-Davies added. “A dirty bomb would violate the nuclear taboo but would have no significant effects.”

—Natasha Turak

US rejects Russian claims Ukraine will use ‘dirty bomb’

US and Ukrainian officials invalidated Moscow’s claims that Ukraine planned to use a “dirty bomb”, calling them “transparently false”.

The allegation was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a series of high-level calls with Western defense directors. Shoigu said he was “concerned about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb'”, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia February 27, 2022.

Alexei Nikolsky | sputnik | Reuters

A “dirty bomb” is designed to contaminate a large area with radioactivity, rendering it harmful or uninhabitable to residents, without using a nuclear explosion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that “the United States rejects Russian Defense Minister Shoygu’s patently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory and that the world would see through any attempt by Russia to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,” according to a White House statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also criticized the Russian accusation.

“If Russia calls and says Ukraine is supposed to prepare something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelenskyy said in his evening speech.

—Natasha Turak

Macron says terms of peace with Russia must be decided by Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a news conference on the last day of the NATO heads of state summit in Madrid on June 30, 2022.

Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said the terms of peace with Moscow must be decided by Ukraine, stressing that the end of the war “cannot be the consecration of the law of the strongest”.

“Remaining neutral would mean accepting the world order of the strongest, and I don’t agree with that,” Emmanuel Macron said from Rome on Sunday at the start of the three-day Cry for Peace conference.

Macron added that the international community would be receptive when the Ukrainian government decides when.

Ukrainian forces are gradually retaking territory occupied and illegally annexed by Russia, and while Moscow seems increasingly in retreat, its ability to wreak havoc on Ukraine’s cities and vital infrastructure remains intact and analysts fear that it can use more extreme measures in retaliation, such as nuclear weapons.

—Natasha Turak

More than a million Ukrainian homes without electricity

Smoke rises above buildings after the Russian missile attack on critical infrastructure in Lviv on October 10, 2022. Russia launched 15 rockets in the Lviv area, some were shot down by air defense forces , the others affected energy infrastructure. Due to the rocket attack, Lviv was left without electricity, water and mobile communication.

Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Russian strikes on critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine have left more than a million homes in the country without power, Deputy Head of Ukraine’s Presidency Kyrylo Tymoshenko said over the weekend. Towns and villages across Ukraine have faced power outages this month due to Russian attacks, raising fears of what may be in store for the coming winter.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged his fellow citizens to exercise caution in their energy consumption.

“We must consume electricity in a very conscious way. Remember to limit the use of unnecessary and energy-consuming appliances… We must be really economical with energy consumption in public spaces”, a- he declared Sunday evening in his speech.

—Natasha Turak

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