The Soviets dumped nuclear waste all over the place, so
if there was a peculiar release of iodine-131 into the atmosphere, it is much more likely to have come from the nuclear wasteland that the Soviet Union created, or from operational reactors in the region, and not from some sort of clandestine atomic testing. That doesn't mean it is impossible, just highly unlikely. There is even a possibility that it didn’t come from Russia at all, and was leaked by a reactor in Europe or elsewhere. Still, with the Arctic likely becoming a key battleground of the future—a reality that has been spurred by Russian military expansion into the region—and considering Moscow's great change in geopolitical tone and military stance over the last few years, suspicions surrounding Russia's true intentions in the region are at an all-time high.