The war in Ukraine: what it is "dirty bomb" caused by Russia?

The war in Ukraine: what it is "dirty bomb" caused by Russia?

For several days, Russia has been fueling rumors that Ukraine is preparing a dirty bomb. (©Photo illustration / Sadak Souici/ Le Pictorium/Maxppp)

It’s a rumor that’s getting stronger because of Russia’s statements. From Sunday 23.10. Moscow accused Ukraine of preparing a “dirty bomb” to hit their own territory.

What is this weapon that terrifies the international community, other than a diplomatic game of rumors and the truth of facts?

what is it?

Nicknamed the “dirty bomb,” this weapon has an official name: a radiological dispersal device (RDD).

Specifically, it is a bomb composed of a traditional explosive charge like dynamite, but to which we will add radioactive elements or toxic.

“The radioactive material would spread over the area depending on the strength of the bomb,” he explainsnews.frPatrice Bouveret, spokesperson for ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) and director of the Armaments Observatory.

This can render space unusable for several thousand years. Radioactive elements can “live” for thousands of years. Although it all depends on the amount of elements present in the bomb.

Patrice BouveretSpokesperson of ICAN and Director of the Armaments Observatory

It’s not an atomic bomb

It must be understood that the “dirty bomb”, not an atomic bomb like those used in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. A nuclear bomb explosion is the result of nuclear fission (A-bomb) or fusion (H-bomb).

“Low [au Japon, en 1945, Ndlr]the bombs crushed everything with the explosion and burned everything because of the heat,” remembers Patrice Bouveret.

We are more alike with the “dirty bomb”. dispersion of radioactive material. “It would be more like Fukushima or Chernobyl with the closed zones, pollution, [avec des radiations directes, Ndlr] and people inhaling radioactive particles. »

It would be an area where cancer would be higher, for example.

Patrice BouveretSpokesperson of ICAN and Director of the Armaments Observatory

Also, a “dirty bomb” is easier to make than an atomic bomb, which uses more complex technology. However, we have never seen a “dirty bomb” “with radioactive materials”, notes Patrice Bouveret.

Diplomatic debates

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone with French Minister of Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu on Sunday. The interview in which the Russian expressed “his concern about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb'”.

Russian accusations denied by Kiev and dismissed by the international community led by France, the United Kingdom and the United States, which rejected “clearly false allegations by Russia that Ukraine is planning to use a ‘dirty bomb’ on its territory.”

No one would be fooled into trying to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, United States of America, United Kingdom

At Kiev’s request, the International Atomic Energy Agency sent a delegation to two nuclear sites to refute Russia’s arguments.

Could Ukraine use this bomb on its own soil?

It seems unlikely that Ukraine would use this “dirty bomb” on its own soil. “From Ukraine’s point of view, it seems out of the question,” said Patrice Bouveret. “Kyiv relies on the West and needs its help to resist. If she used this weapon, she would alienate the entire international community. »

So why has Russia been fueling these rumors for three days now? To keep the nuclear threat hanging over the conflict.

“The nuclear threat makes it possible to maintain this fear in order to limit western aid to Ukraine and to camouflage the military difficulties of the Russians on the front,” analyzes Patrice Bouveret.

However, this threat is real. Especially since Russia is passing through counteroffensive, and his army retreats.

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