Ukraine update: Russia announces formation of militia in Kherson; accuses Ukraine of planning ‘dirty bomb’ attack

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Russian-installed authorities in Ukraine’s Kherson region announced the formation of a local militia, saying all men remaining in the city amid evacuation efforts have “the opportunity” to join, Reuters reported. Ukraine said, however, that recruitment was not voluntary, but that men were being compelled to take up arms in violation of the Geneva Conventions regarding conduct of war. 

The announcement came on the heels of the Kremlin’s claim that its military had blocked Kyiv forces from breaking through Moscow’s line of control in the city of Kherson on Sunday, though Britain’s defense ministry said Ukraine is making gains in its counteroffensive.

Russia accuses Ukraine of planning ‘dirty bomb’ in what West says signals false flag operation

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told his Western counterparts that Ukraine may be planning to use a radioactive “dirty bomb” to provoke Moscow. The claim was denounced by Kyiv, Washington, and London as a false flag statement Russia may be using to potentially justify the use of nuclear weapons as it struggles to hold back Ukraine’s advances in the south. 

In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the foreign ministers of Britain and France rejected Shoigu’s allegations and reaffirmed their support for Ukraine against Russia.

“Our countries made clear that we all reject Russia’s transparently false allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory,” they said. “The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation.” 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his Sunday evening video address that the new accusation by Shoigu is a clear signal that Moscow was planning its own “dirty bomb” attack and setting the stage for blaming it on Kyiv.

“If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelenskyy said.

“So when today the Russian Minister of Defense organizes a phone carousel and calls foreign ministers with stories about the so-called ‘dirty’ nuclear bomb, everyone understands everything well. Understands who is the source of everything dirty that can be imagined in this war.”

Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba on Sunday said he had spoken directly with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the ‘dirty bomb’ pretext.

“I spoke to @SecBlinken. We both agreed Russia’s ‘dirty bomb’ disinformation campaign might be aimed at creating a pretext for a false flag operation,” Kuleba tweeted on Sunday.

“We also discussed further practical steps to boost Ukraine’s air defense. Secretary affirmed the U.S. spares no effort to this end,” he added, noting that “Russia continues using Iranian-made drones in civilian, infrastructure attacks.”

Iran condemns Western calls for probe into its role in drone attacks

Moscow’s forces fired missiles and drones into the Ukrainian-held southern town of Mykolaiv, destroying an entire apartment block as it shows no signs of easing up on its brutal attacks on Ukraine’s power facilities and residential areas. 

Iran condemned a call by Britain, France, and Germany for the United Nations to investigate accusations that it is supplying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or “kamikaze drones,” to Russia, despite significant evidence to the contrary.

Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said on Friday that the U.S. is working closely with Ukraine’s Defense Contact Group to rush air defense capabilities to Ukraine in response to the attacks, according to a press release. She said that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had spoken with Ukraine’s defense minister and “assured him that the United States, its allies, and partners will continue to work with Ukraine.”

Austin stressed to his Russian counterpart that lines of communication between Washington and Moscow must remain open.

“The two leaders pledged to remain in close contact,” Singh said. 

Grain shipment deal threatened

As the war continued to escalate, Ukraine accused Russia of subverting a U.N.-brokered deal on grain shipments, saying that the Kremlin blocked the passage of seven grain-laden cargo ships headed to Asia and Europe. 

“Russia is deliberately blocking the full realization of the Grain Initiative. As a result, these (Ukrainian) ports in the last few days are working only at 25-30 percent of their capacity,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement via the Telegram messaging app.

The agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, had allowed Ukraine to resume exports of millions of tons of grain held up by Russian blockades ahead of a potentially catastrophic global food crisis.

Russia’s latest actions have heightened fears that the Kremlin won’t agree to an extension of the agreement beyond a Nov. 19 deadline. Russia has repeatedly complained about the implementation of the agreement.