Disinfo: Radioactive substances brought to Ukraine could be used to make a "dirty bomb"


Containers filled with radioactive substances were brought into the port of Chornomorsk from the territory of one European state, bypassing the customs inspection. Similar containers of radioactive substance Californium-252 were brought into the port of Odesa by one of the cargo ships.

These substances may be used as components of munitions or to make a "dirty bomb".


Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative capitalising on fear of nuclear material and trying to accuse the West of providing weapons to Ukraine with the capability of nuclear strike. This is a part of a wider disinformation campaign whose ultimate goal is to present Ukraine as a threat to Russia and therefore justify Russia’s unprovoked aggression against its peaceful neighbour.

The claims made by Russia about Ukraine’s plans to acquire or detonate a nuclear artifact have been made multiple times, but have not been backed by any evidence, and some of them have been positively proven as false. Under the Budapest memorandum in 1994, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises. In return, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States promised that none of them would ever threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They specifically pledged they would refrain from making each other's territory the object of military occupation or engage in other uses of force in violation of international law.

Previously Western leaders have rejected Russia's 'dirty bomb' claim, and EU High Representative Josep Borrell dismissed the allegations as false. In addition, diplomats from France, Britain and the United States called Russia’s allegation a pretext that Moscow has developed for escalating the war. The West supports Ukraine with military and financial aid for the country’s efficient self-defence, in accordance with the UN Charter, to stop Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as claims that Western tanks given to Ukraine could deliver nuclear warheads, that Kyiv passed from rejecting nuclear weapons to preparing a dirty bomb and that Ukraine is going to use a dirty bomb to accuse Russia of using tactical nuclear weapons.