Russia Claims Arrests in Ukrainian ‘Dirty Bomb’ Plot

Russia’s domestic intelligence agency has made arrests in connection with alleged Ukrainian plans to drop “dirty bombs” on Russian energy facilities, state media reported Tuesday.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said two “pilots” of unknown nationality have been detained and “confessed to the committed and planned terrorist acts,” according to the state-run TASS news agency.

The FSB said it had uncovered the alleged dirty bomb plot while investigating a thwarted Ukrainian drone strike on a Russian airfield northeast of Moscow.

The agency said it received information that Ukraine’s military intelligence had set up a special unit using light aircraft to supply sabotage groups within Russia “and drop bombs on fuel and energy infrastructure facilities.”

The alleged special unit has carried out five attacks on Russian energy facilities near the border with Ukraine since early 2023, the FSB added.

“It was planned to deliver and plant so-called dirty bombs equipped with delay timers to simultaneously detonate and render areas unfit for human habitation,” it said.

It was not possible to independently verify the FSB’s allegations.

Kyiv has not commented on the claims.

Russia’s military claimed last fall that Ukraine was in the “final stages” of developing a so-called dirty bomb laced with radioactive elements.

Kyiv and its Western allies dismissed Moscow’s claims, which were made as Russian forces rapidly retreated in Ukraine’s northeast and south.

A dirty bomb is a conventional bomb laced with radioactive, biological or chemical materials which get disseminated in an explosion. It is much less destructive and easier to make than a nuclear device.

Russia has made repeated claims of Ukrainian “sabotage” efforts since launching its offensive against Kyiv last February, particularly in recent months.


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