Russia squeezes out one “dirty bomb” after another to waste the UN’s time

29 October 2022, 01:23 PM
United Nations flag (Photo:edgarwinkler / pixabay)

United Nations flag (Photo:edgarwinkler / pixabay)

The Russian delegation at the United Nations put on quite an act on Oct. 27, providing a full-scale horror show of allegations against Ukraine: bioweapons, contagious combat mosquitos and, of course, the dirty bomb.

The world’s most powerful states were discussing these claims at the world’s largest diplomatic platform, where they usually discuss genocides, invasions, and are supposed to prevent and end wars.

Russia requested a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine that same day.

During the meeting, nuclear power used as a smokescreen, spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation in front of millions of viewers from around the world, abusing its right as a permanent UNSC member to call for a meeting for any reason, just like it frequently abuses the veto right.

Video of day

UK and U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations even lost their temper and said that Russia is deliberately spreading disinformation, wasting the Security Council’s time.

Although in the end, despite Russia’s disappointment that nobody takes them seriously in diplomatic circles, they got what they wanted.

They received the attention they craved and legitimized their craziest conspiracy theories about Ukraine by forcing different UN agencies to investigate and debunk these bogus smears.

At the same time, Russians distracted public attention from their own nuclear terrorism threat in the form of the frequently shelled Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, which the invaders seized and destabilized in the first months of the invasion.

Citing the 2005 Agreement between the Pentagon and Ukraine’s Ministry of Health regarding cooperation on preventing the dissemination of technologies, pathogens, and information, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebendzya even claimed that the agreement can be used to develop biological weapons in Ukraine.

UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said first in March and then again in May – that the UN had seen no evidence of biological weapons use in Ukraine.

Nebendzya continued to push the conspiracy that the US has been financing biological weapons production in Ukraine, told scary stories about viruses and even combat mosquitoes, making the UNSC resemble an episode of an Alex Jones show.

 Both Ukraine and the US  have denied Russian claims.

“Ukraine has never ever developed, produced, or stored - alone or together with someone else - biological or chemical weapons,” Deputy Representative of the Ukrainian mission to the UN, Khrystyna Hayovyshyn, told the Council.

 “Our country does not possess a corresponding infrastructure for biological weapons development and production.”

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield described the UNSC meeting as a colossal waste of time, saying it was held for the sole purpose of spreading disinformation.

“It doesn’t matter how many meetings Russia tries to call on this subject,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

“And it doesn’t matter how hard it ratchets up its propaganda machine. We must not divert UN resources toward a baseless investigation. And we must not allow Russia’s tactics to distract us from its brutal war of aggression.”

However, one baseless investigation will indeed happen – a search for a scary dirty bomb, which the Russians wanted to discuss during the closed session of the UNSC meeting on Oct. 27.

Although Security Council spent most of its time listening to Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reporting about the current state of affairs at the seized Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, Russia wanted to talk about a dirty bomb. 

The Kremlin claims Ukraine has institutions that are able to create this dirty bomb, accusing a non-nuclear state that sent most of its warheads to Russia in the 1990s of preparing a nuclear provocation. Its goal? To say that the Kremlin used nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Listening to the nonsense you would usually read on Twitter by some crazy anonymous accounts, in the corridors of the United Nations, I wanted someone to wake me up.

Yet the IAEA agreed to conduct an investigation into two sites that supposedly have the potential to create a nuclear dirty bomb in Ukraine. One of the institutions is reportedly the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which the Russians occupied in the first days of the war and then left in April, leaving the territory of the NPP damaged and looted.

But the Russians were still not satisfied. They know that Ukraine cooperates with all international institutions and that the investigators will find no dirty bombs.

So, after the meeting ended, Nebendzya told journalists that Ukraine can basically create a dirty bomb under every rock. 

He knew how ridiculous this sounded. But he also knew that the good old “both sides” reporting so popular among the UN correspondents would play for him once again, legitimizing his claims, and undermining an investigation that has not even begun.

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I asked Grossi about the distraction mechanism Russia has been using at the UN. His body language agreed with me, yet as IAEA director, he can’t call nonsense - nonsense.

“Together with the Ukrainian government, we agreed that the best thing would be to go and investigate,” Grossi said.

“It will take days, not even weeks. I am glad the Ukrainian government is fully cooperating.”

His answer was logical, yet I keep thinking that Russia has turned the world upside down and completely destroyed the definition of facts, right and wrong, and the truth itself.

Because when UN institutions spent the whole day discussing combat mosquitos, bioweapons, and dirty nuclear bombs supposedly produced by a non-nuclear state – which is currently under attack by an uncontrolled fascist nuclear power – it means everything is possible.

Maximum confusion is so far the most powerful Russian warfare tactic. It has brought the Kremlin more victories than its army invading Ukraine.

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