© Stocksak. A local man throws debris through a window in a damaged residential building in Mykolaiv. This was after a Russian missile attack on October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
KYIV (Stocksak). On Monday, Western countries accused Russia that it plotted to use a bomb with nuclear material as a pretext in order to escalate in Ukraine. Moscow evacuated civilians from a southerly city in anticipation of a major war.
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu called Western counterparts Sunday to inform them that Moscow believed Kyiv was planning to use a “dirty bomb” as Ukrainian forces advanced into Russian-occupied Kherson.
The foreign ministers of France and Britain, together with the United States, stated that they all rejected the allegations and reiterated their support for Ukraine.
“Our countries made clear that we all reject Russia’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” they said. “The world would reject any attempt to use this allegation for escalation.”
Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine, addressed the nation overnight and said that the Russian accusation was a sign Moscow was planning to attack Ukraine.
Zelenskiy stated, “If Russia calls and claims that Ukraine is allegedly preparing some thing, it means that Russia has already prepared all of this.”
“So, when the Russian Minister of Defense organizes a phone carousel to call foreign ministers with stories about so-called dirty’ nukes, everyone is well informed. Knows who is responsible for everything that can be imagined as dirty in this war.”
Russia has instructed civilians to evacuate territory on the western bank Dnipro River. The area is where Ukrainian forces are advancing since the beginning this month, just after Moscow claimed to have annexed it.
Moscow’s worst setback in the war would be a Russian defeat there. Kherson’s provincial capital is the last major city Russia has captured intact after the February invasion. It is also the only foothold Russia has on the west bank Dnipro, which divides Ukraine. The province controls Crimea’s gateway, which Russia claimed it annexed in 2014.
The Russian-installed officials in Kherson announced Monday that those who stayed behind would have the option to join a military-self-defence unit. Kyiv accuses Russia for press-ganging soldiers in occupied territories into military formations, which is a war crime under Geneva Conventions.
Vladimir Putin has escalated the war after his forces suffered major battlefield losses in September. He has called up hundreds and thousands of reservists, announced the annexation territory, and repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons against Russian land.
Russia launched a new campaign to attack Ukraine’s electric heat and power ahead of winter with long-range cruise missiles.
Russian state television is filled by talk shows with pundits cheering openly attacks on Ukrainian civil infrastructure, and calling for ever tougher measures in order to eradicate what they call an “illegitimate Ukrainian State”.
Russian state TV host Anton Krasovsky apologized Monday to the public for calling for Ukrainian children drowned in rivers or burned alive in huts with their doors nailed shut. He also joked that Ukrainian grandmothers were saving funeral funds to pay Russian soldiers for rape.
“Well, it happens: when you’re on the air, you get carried along. Krasovsky stated that he was “really embarrassed” and said that he couldn’t stop.
Krasovsky was removed from Russia’s state-funded channel RT. Russia’s Investigative Committee stated that it had ordered a report into his comments.
Dmytro Kuleba (Ukraine’s Foreign Minister) said that Krasovsky would face prosecution for promoting genocide. He also called on countries to ban RT.