State Department spokesman Ned Price holds a news conference on Wednesday as NATO and Russia’s military held separate nuclear drills on Wednesday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin once again firmly stuck to internationally dismissed claims that Ukraine was planning to launch a radioactive detonate the “dirty bomb”.
The event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. Watch in the player above.
At the front, his forces attacked more than 40 villages in Ukraine last day.
Putin remotely oversaw drills of his Strategic Nuclear Forces, which included multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles in a show of force. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that the exercise simulated a “massive nuclear strike” in retaliation for a nuclear attack on Russia.
The Biden administration said Russia announced the annual drills in advance. NATO is conducting its own long-planned annual nuclear exercises in north-west Europe.
In a remark televised by Russian TV, Putin said Ukraine plans to use “a so-called ‘dirty bomb’ as a provocation,” and claimed the United States would use Ukraine as a “battering ram” against Russia and its regional allies in order to destroy the country to turn into a “testing ground for military biological experiments”. It was the first time that Putin himself made the dirty bomb accusation, which his officials have been repeating since last week.
Ukraine and its Western allies have denied the claims, claiming that given battlefield setbacks, Russia may attempt to detonate a “dirty bomb” — which uses explosives to disperse radioactive waste to sow terror — or further go and tap into his nuclear weapons.
Shoigu called his Indian and Chinese counterparts on Wednesday to share Moscow’s concerns about “possible Ukrainian provocations with a ‘dirty bomb,'” according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Russia’s unfounded statements “absurd”.
“Allies deny this obviously false accusation, and Russia must not use false pretenses to further escalate the war,” Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
He stressed that the 30-nation military organization “will not be intimidated or prevented from supporting Ukraine’s right to self-defense for as long as necessary.”
Despite the dismissals from the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted Moscow had information about “an ongoing preparation for such a terrorist attack in Ukraine.”
“We will continue to vigorously inform the world community about what we know in order to persuade them to take measures to prevent such irresponsible actions by the regime in Kyiv,” Peskov told reporters.