Dmytro Kuleba. Photo: Vladimir Shtanko/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Axios that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu should “drink less dirty vodka” in response to Shoigu’s claim that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb”.
Why is this important: Kuleba’s comment comes a day after Shoigu raised the “dirty bomb” allegation during calls with the defense ministers of the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey.
- A “dirty bomb” is an explosive device that includes both conventional explosives and nuclear material. Such devices can create widespread radioactive contamination. Echoing Russian state media reports, Shoigu raised the idea that Ukraine might use a dirty bomb on its own soil and then blame Russia.
- kuleba fired that as “absurd”, said Ukraine has no such weapons, and added that “Russians often blame others for what they themselves plan.” He also has guest the UN’s nuclear watchdog to inspect facilities in Ukraine that Russia says are being used to develop such a bomb, tweeting: “Unlike Russia, we have nothing to hide.”
- The United States, France and the United Kingdom also rejected Shoigu’s “obviously false allegations” in a joint statement on Sunday. “The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,” they wrote.
In Monday’s Axios interview, Kuleba joked that to make such claims Shoigu had to drink “dirty vodka”.
- “Shoigu should drink less dirty vodka because dirty vodka…takes people into Russian fairy tales,” he said.
The last: In a sign of concern over Russia’s potential next move, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and his British counterpart Admiral Tony Radakin both spoke to the General on Monday. Valery Gerasimov, General-in-Chief of Russia.
- It was the first call between Milley and Gerasimov since May, according to Reuters.
- The UK Ministry of Defense said Radakin “dismissed Russian allegations that Ukraine was planning actions to escalate the conflict”.
Go further: Zelensky criticizes Israel and suggests that Russia will help Iran in its nuclear program
More news from the interview with Kuleba will be released later this week.