Russia accuses Ukraine of building ‘Dirty Bomb’
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu in a phone call to his counterpart from the United States, Britain, France and Turkey has accused Ukraine of nearly completing building a ‘dirty bomb’. However Ukraine, France, the United States and the United Kingdom has rejected the Russian accusations.
The Russian claims that “two organisations in Ukraine have specific instructions to create a so-called ‘dirty bomb’.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and it has been almost 9 months of the conflict.
What is a dirty bomb?
It is a bomb which contains radioactive material such as uranium along with a conventional explosives. The explosives when detonated scatters the radioactive material in the air contaminating a wide area. The radioactive material used to make dirty bomb is not a highly enriched uranium which is used to make of nuclear weapon but it could be radioactive materials from hospitals, nuclear power stations or research laboratories.
It is cheaper and easier to make than nuclear weapons.
Impact of Dirty Bomb
The Dirty bomb itself does not cause massive casualty but due to radioactive fallout, it can cause serious illness such as cancer in the area. It can cause massive panic in the targeted area. A wide area around the blast zone would also have to be evacuated for decontamination, or abandoned completely.
According to the BBC “the Federation of American Scientists has calculated that if a bomb containing 9g (0.3oz) of cobalt-60 and 5kg of TNT were to be exploded at the tip of Manhattan, in New York, it would make the whole area of the city uninhabitable for decades.”
For this reason, dirty bombs are known as weapons of mass disruption.
Instances of the use of Dirty Bomb
According to BBC there has been to three known instances of use of dirty bombs, but they were defused before it could explode
In 1996, rebels from Chechnya planted a bomb containing dynamite and caesium-137 in Moscow's Izmailovo Park. The caesium had been extracted from cancer-treatment equipment.
In 1998, Chechnya's intelligence service found and defused a dirty bomb that had been placed near a railway line in Chechnya.
In 2002, Jose Padilla, a US citizen who had contacts with al-Qaeda, was arrested in Chicago on suspicion of planning a dirty-bomb attack.
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