Russia rejects IAEA investigation into Ukraine 'dirty bomb' claims

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Nov. 3 it had found no sign of undeclared nuclear activity at three sites in Ukraine that it inspected at Kyiv's request in response to Russian allegations.

 Russian conscripts called up for military service during the annual autumn draft line up at a gathering point before their departure for garrisons, in Omsk, Russia November 10, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXEY MALGAVKO)
Russian conscripts called up for military service during the annual autumn draft line up at a gathering point before their departure for garrisons, in Omsk, Russia November 10, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXEY MALGAVKO)

Russia has rejected the conclusion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s investigation into accusations that Ukraine used a 'dirty bomb,' against them. The IAEA determined in late October that no such bomb was developed or used in Ukrainian territory.

The IAEA said last month it would inspect two locations in Ukraine following a request by Kyiv. On October 31, it said those inspections had begun and on November 3, it said they had been completed at three locations rather than two, all of which had been mentioned by Russia.

"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," the IAEA said in a statement. 

"There are probably no grounds to be satisfied with what the IAEA has collected and prepared. We will decide on this issue as we accumulate additional information,"  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Friday.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states via a video link in Moscow, Russia October 26, 2022.  (credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXEI BABUSHKIN/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS) Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states via a video link in Moscow, Russia October 26, 2022. (credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXEI BABUSHKIN/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

A Russian government-run Twitter account posted on Thursday calling the IAEA's conclusion "an unprofessionally drafted resolution that goes beyond the Agency's mandate and contains factual errors on nuclear safety, nuclear security and safeguards in Ukraine."

Not just dirty bombs

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Nov. 3 it had found no sign of undeclared nuclear activity at three sites in Ukraine that it inspected at Kyiv's request in response to Russian allegations that work was being done on a "dirty bomb".

Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning to use such a bomb - a conventional explosive device laced with radioactive material - and said institutes linked to the nuclear industry were involved in preparations, without presenting evidence. Ukraine's government denies the accusation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the conclusion, saying in a video address that "the only dirty things in our region right now are the heads of those in Moscow who, unfortunately, seized control of the Russian state and are terrorizing Ukraine and the whole world."

Reuters contributed to this report.