On Sunday, Russian media quoted an anonymous source as suggesting that Ukraine was close to developing a plutonium-based “dirty bomb” nuclear weapon, albeit the source offered no proof.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine with the goal of “demilitarising” and “denazifying” the country’s pro-Western neighbour and preventing Kyiv from joining NATO.
The West has responded with tough sanctions against Moscow and substantial military and other help to Kyiv, rejecting that argument as a pretext.
On Sunday, Russian news agencies TASS, RIA, and Interfax reported “a representative of a responsible organisation” as stating Ukraine was building nuclear weapons at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, which was shut down in 2000.
Ukraine’s leadership has said that it has no aspirations to rejoin the nuclear club after giving up its nuclear weapons in 1994 when the Soviet Union disintegrated.
Putin stated in a resentful speech just before the invasion that Ukraine was utilising Soviet know-how to build its own nuclear weapons, and that this was comparable to preparing for an attack on Russia.
He provided no proof to back up his assertion.