A "dirty bomb" from Shoigu. What Russia hopes for

October 25, 2022

On October 23, Shoigu held telephone talks with the French, British and Turkish defence ministers about alleged Ukraine's "provocations" with a "dirty bomb".

In a joint statement that appeared this morning, the head of the Pentagon, the British and the French ministers told Shoigu in a fairly undiplomatic way: what he told them was simply, as the Russians say, "the nonsense of a gray mare", or simply crazy talk. No one will believe this, and the beginning of this statement (for Shoigu to understand) actually reaffirms that Shoigu's fantasies about the use of a "dirty bomb" did not impress the West, and the West is determined to support Ukraine as long as necessary. In fact, they revealed Shoigu’s intentions, who tried to convince them that Ukraine is a terrorist state and all support for it should be stopped. That is, they revealed the essence of the conversation with the Russian Defence Minister and sent two clear messages.

The first one is, as I said, "gray mare's nonsense."

The second one is that the effect, for which Shoigu hoped, will just be the opposite.

Shoigu's appeals to his Western counterparts with such statements about Ukraine show that things are bad and that we all know very well: the factor of international aid (which, of course, is not enough for us) is so powerful that Shoigu, firstly, pursued the main goal (obviously he agreed with his boss) — to neutralise this help and postpone the moment of defeat, faced by Russia. The second question, to which our partners tried to find answers, is whether Shoigu was trying to create such a fake, or it was an announcement that Russia was preparing an operation under a false flag.

Their conclusion is that, most likely, it was not a matter of practical preparation for the use of such a bomb, but simply an attempt to deter our partners.



Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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