Group of authors: Russia’s disinformation goes nuclear

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Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent.

Before the escalated invasion of Ukraine, the political and military leadership of Russia alleged that Ukraine was planning to regain its nuclear status and that it would be receiving the help of Western countries.

This claim was reiterated on 9 May 2022, almost three months following the full-scale invasion, during the closely watched Victory Day speech by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. He said that Russia could not tolerate Ukraine becoming a nuclear state in its “near abroad” and was forced to take steps to prevent it. These false accusations have been repeatedly refuted by Ukraine, the U.S., and other Western nations; nevertheless, Moscow continues to disseminate them to Russian and international audiences.

Essentially, this should be regarded as one of the numerous forms of Russian disinformation that are designed to justify its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and maintain domestic and international support for an illegal military operation that has been floundering.

Russia perpetuates three types of false narratives on nuclear and radiological weapons in Ukraine:

  • Ukraine has nuclear weapons aspirations;

  • it has ready technical capabilities to produce a nuclear or radioactive device of some sort;

  • it is benefitting from Western assistance.

Learn more about these allegations here.