Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was indignant at the fact that the Taliban, usually friendly to Russia, called the USSR, along with NATO and the United States, among those states that damaged the ecology of Afghanistan.
Zakharova is apparently referring to the US use in April 2017 of the GBU-43/B aerial bomb, the “mother of all bombs,” which at the time of development was considered the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal. The US military dropped a bomb on the territory of the province of Nangarhar, where there was a complex of shelters in which Islamic State militants were hiding. As a result, according to the Afghan government, more than 90 IS fighters were killed. There were no casualties among the civilian population, contrary to the statements of Zakharova - by that time the territory was completely controlled by ISIS.
As for diseases and soil poisoning, it is not very clear how a conventional high-explosive aerial bomb, although very powerful, can cause such consequences. Back in July 2017, the pro-Kremlin agency Sputnik published a report about how local residents were allegedly showing signs of “terrible diseases”. Sputnik stated that the "survivors" were suffering from "skin and eye diseases", quoting an anonymous "health official from the Achinsk district" who said that these symptoms "very likely indicate radiation exposure, which could have been caused by the presence of uranium inside the dropped bomb".
Afterwards, Zabiullah Ghazi, a freelance reporter working for VOA in Afghanistan, visited the Achin area and interviewed local health officials and residents.
“Over the past three months, we have not observed any increase in skin diseases,” Dr. Samim, head of the district clinic in Achin, said at the time.
According to residents of Achin, some in the area suffer from chronic eye and skin conditions, but none of them are "new". Local resident Rahmat Khan explained that his seven-year-old daughter has been suffering from a skin infection since she was five years old.
Regarding the presence of uranium inside the GBU-43/B, this fake probably began to spread after the post of the American journalist Amber Lyon, who questioned that this bomb is not radioactive. However, this assumption was refuted by experts: the main goal of the GBU-43 / B is to create a powerful shock wave, the presence of radioactive elements in such a bomb would make no sense. To the objections under her post, Lyon was unable to respond something to the point, writing:
All bombs poison all of us on the planet, as we are all energetically connected. Whether it's radiation, chemicals, or someone else's injury, we're all poisoned. A bomb dropped is a bomb dropped on ALL of us.
With renewed vigor, rumors of disease and soil poisoning began to circulate in December 2019, when the Afghan television channel Tolo news interviewed local residents who spoke of "acne and skin irritations" in teenagers and that "the harvest is now less than in the past." At the same time, Zahir Adil, a spokesman for the Public Health Authority, claimed that they had not recorded "a single bomb-related illness" so far. After that, the Afghan news agency Pajhwok also spoke to local residents, but they all said that the bomb did not cause any consequences for the health and productivity of the soil.