Shocking claims on Russian state news website Rossiya Segodnya say Ukraine is ready to launch a “dirty bomb” targeted on Chernobyl as a deliberate provocation to bring NATO into the war.
“Specialists from the Ukrainian enterprise 'Yuzhmash' [a Ukrainian missile manufacturer] have prepared a dummy rocket, which is planned to be filled with radioactive material, and then allegedly shot down over the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and announce the launch of a nuclear charge by the Russian armed forces,” according to one Russian source quoted by the site.
"After the dummy is knocked down, the Kyiv authorities intend to show the Western and Ukrainian media fragments of the model and electronics of the alleged Iskander missile in order to convince the Western public of Russia's guilt," the claims continued.
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Noted Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov claimed on another Russian TV discussion programme earlier this week that Ukraine was preparing to detonate a nuclear warhead in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.
Speaking on state TV, he said: "There is already a thermonuclear charge in Mykolaiv which will be designated for use in a provocation.
"One can assume that the explosion of that charge against the background of NATO and the US's constant claims that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons, on the eve of that offensive or during that offensive in order to say that because Russia is suffering defeat."
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"It has conducted a strike on Ukrainian forces which will end in tens of thousands of civilian deaths," Sivkov added.
"This will allow the USA to justify large-scale missile strikes on the territory, on our troops in those regions and on Russian territory.”
After Ukraine left the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian Government gave up its nuclear deterrent, so far the only state to do so.
Three years later the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed an agreement to protect Ukraine against any aggression in recognition of its new status as a non-nuclear state.
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