“Dirty bomb”: Moscow uses photo of Slovenian origin to accuse Kyiv

“Dirty bomb


Russia used a photo from Slovenia dating back to 2010 to support its allegations on Twitter of the “dirty bomb” that Ukraine is preparing, the Slovenian government told AFP on Wednesday.

The use “was done improperly and without the knowledge of the Slovenian authorities,” said Dragan Barbutovski, adviser in the office of Prime Minister Robert Golob. 

Earlier, the Slovenian government issued a series of tweets in English denouncing that “the photo used by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Twitter” is “a photo of the Slovenian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARAO)”.  

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted the following message, also in English, on Twitter: “Russian Defense Ministry: According to information at our disposal, two Ukrainian organizations have been ordered to create the #bombsale”.  

The text was illustrated with photos depicting a nuclear power plant, a radioactive waste storage site, scientific research reactors and plastic bags containing used uranium and plutonium . 

The word “radioaktivno”, which means “radioactive” in Slovenian, appeared on the plastic bags. 

“One of the photos used in the Russian tweet to refer to Ukrainian 'dirty bomb' capabilities […] dates from 2010 and was used at conferences and for flyers,” the government of Slovenia explained. , a member country of the European Union (EU) and NATO. 

It was “published without the knowledge of ARAO”, he specified.

“Radioactive waste is stored safely and under surveillance in Slovenia. They will not be used to make dirty bombs”, he added. 

Russia has accused Ukraine since Sunday of preparing a weapon consisting of conventional explosives surrounded by radioactive materials intended to be disseminated during the explosion. 

It reiterated its accusations to China and India on Wednesday.

Ukraine and the West have denounced “absurd” and “dangerous” allegations and suggested that Russia was itself preparing for an escalation on the battlefield, where its troops have suffered a string of defeats since September.