Russia's Shoigu warns of 'uncontrolled escalation' in Ukraine conflict

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu gestures during a news conference after talks between Italy and Russia at Villa Madama in Rome, Italy February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told his French counterpart in a telephone call on Sunday that the situation in Ukraine was rapidly deteriorating and trending towards "uncontrolled escalation".

In a phone call with French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu published by the Russian side, Shoigu said Moscow had concerns Ukraine could use a "dirty bomb" in the conflict, without providing evidence to support the suggestion that Ukraine might use such a weapeon.

"They discussed the situation in Ukraine which is rapidly deteriorating," the defence ministry said in a readout of the call. "It is trending towards further uncontrolled escalation."

A so-called dirty bomb uses conventional explosives laced with radioactive material.

The defence ministry did not provide any further information on its statement.

Reporting by Reuters Editing by David Goodman

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