For months now Russia and the West have exchanged threats and warnings about nuclear warfare, raising tensions to levels not seen or felt since the height of the Cold War.
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Increased nuclear rhetorics
On Wednesday, Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the United States, doubled down on the Russian claims that Ukraine will detonate a ‘dirty bomb’, Newsweek reports.
In a written article on the Telegram app, Antonov says the world is at a precipice of a nuclear disaster.
'Today we face the threat of a radiation disaster. Detonation of such radiological explosive device will have a magnitude comparable to an explosion of a low-yield nuclear weapon.’
Antonov also gives context in terms of what the consequences of a 'dirty bomb' will be in the area affected by the blast.
‘The blast wave will disperse radioactive substances over an area of up to several thousand square meters. Contaminated territories will turn into an exclusion zone for 30-50 years.’
No sign of ‘dirty bomb’
Russia took the claims of a Ukrainian 'dirty bomb' to the United Nations (UN) Security Council last month.
It presented an alleged letter by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Ukraine’s nuclear research facility with ‘direct orders’ to develop such a bomb.
This allegation was denied immediately both by Ukraine, and the US. As a response, Ukraine invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) known as the UN watchdog for atomic matters to conduct independent inspections.
Last week the IAEA published a statement where it proved that ‘unfettered access’ was provided to its inspectors in three sites in Ukraine suspected of the alleged activity but there is no sign of a ‘dirty bomb’, Al Jazeera reports.
‘Based on the evaluation of the results available to date and the information provided by Ukraine, the agency did not find any indications of undeclared nuclear activities and materials at the locations.’
In response to Russian references to nuclear warfare, Ukraine held exercises on Tuesday to prepare for a possible nuclear attack, Politico reports.
-Newsweek: ‘Russia Warns of 'Radiation Disaster' As It Ramps Up Nuclear War Talk’
-Aljazeera: ‘UN inspectors find no sign of ‘dirty bomb’ in Ukraine’
-Politico: ‘Ukrainians prep for a possible Russian nuclear attack’