US: We See No Signs Putin Will Use Dirty Bomb

Defense chief Austin says Pentagon is keeping a close eye on Russia amid heightened rhetoric
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2022 2:24 PM CDT
US: We See No Signs Putin Will Use Dirty Bomb
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the plenary session of the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022.   (Sergei Karpukhin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters Thursday that the US has still not seen anything to indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to use a dirty bomb, per the AP. He said there are continued concerns that the conflict could escalate, and he said that’s why it is critical for the US to keep the lines of communication open with allies and with Russia. “We’re going to continue to communicate that any type of use of a weapon of that sort, or even the talk of the use of a weapon of that sort is dangerous and irresponsible,” said Austin, who spoke with his Russian counterpart twice in the last week.

“It’s important to make sure that we’re talking to adversaries and allies alike and making sure that that we’re tamping down dangerous talk.” Asked if there are concerns Russia might use its upcoming nuclear exercises as a cover for a strike inside Ukraine, Austin said, “it’s something we continue to watch. And we haven’t seen anything to cause us to believe at this point that that is some kind of cover activity.” Moscow has repeatedly made the unfounded claim that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb,” an explosive devise with radioactive material, on its own territory. Western officials have dismissed the claim as misinformation possibly designed as a pretext for Russia to justify its own military escalation. (Meanwhile, Russia is upgrading its nuclear arsenal.)

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