Stink of Nuclear War: UK Depleted Uranium Ammunition to Kiev “as Dirty Bombs”. “Russia will be Forced to React” Putin Said

Stink of Nuclear War: UK Depleted Uranium Ammunition to Kiev “as Dirty Bombs”. “Russia will be Forced to React” Putin Said

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by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio

VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

The race to escalate the war in Ukraine carried on by the NATO countries continues with constant provocations that seem made on purpose to unleash the First World Atomic War.

While the White House has already warned Kiev not to accept peace proposals from China after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, an even more dangerous announcement comes from the United Kingdom.

UK Minister of State for Defense Annabel Goldie said on Tuesday that London would provide Ukraine with armor piercing shells for the Challenger 2 main battle tanks it has decided to send to Kiev, including depleted uranium ammunition.

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“Today it became known that the United Kingdom, through its deputy head of the ministry of defense, announced not only the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but also shells with depleted uranium,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said, adding that “it seems that the West really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, not in words, but in deed.”

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The depleted uranium (DU) rounds in question are armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) sub-calibre projectiles for the tanks’ 120mm-calibre rifled main guns. They are not compatible with the same 120mm guns on the German Leopard 2 tanks already supplied to Ukraine or the US M1 Abrams tanks promised for delivery in 2024, as they use more modern smoothbore guns.

DU is used in the dart-like projectiles due to its very high density — two-thirds heavier per cubic centimetre than lead — which increases armour penetration, as well as its pyrophoric property of igniting on impact.

“I would like to note in this regard that if all this happens, then Russia will be forced to react accordingly – I mean that the Collective West is already starting to use weapons with a nuclear component,” Putin added.

His comments came after meetings with a delegation of high-level Chinese officials, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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Later in the day, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned the United Kingdom that there would be few red lines left uncrossed if it delivered on its promise to give Ukraine depleted uranium weapons.

“I can only say this: We are running out of red lines … Another line has been crossed and there are fewer and fewer of them left,” he told reporters in Moscow.

Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the uranium refining process composed of uranium-238, which is not useful for generating nuclear chain reactions but which is extremely dense and used to make armor-piercing ammunition. However, it still possesses radioactive properties that can be very harmful to humans and is highly toxic, making it a dangerous weapon long after the engagement in which it was fired.

“Depleted Uranium Munitions would be as the Use of Dirty Bombs”

Supplying Ukraine with depleted uranium munitions for western military hardware would be regarded by Moscow as the use of “dirty bombs,” said Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control.

Speaking at a plenary meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation, Gavrilov cautioned “western sponsors of Kiev’s war machine” against encouraging “nuclear provocations and blackmail.

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“We know that Leopard 2 tanks, as well as Bradley and Marder armored fighting vehicles, can use depleted uranium shells, which can contaminate terrain, just like it happened in Yugoslavia and Iraq,” he said. “If Kiev were to be supplied with such munitions for the use in western heavy military hardware, we would regard it as the use of ‘dirty nuclear bombs’ against Russia, with all the consequences that entails.”

Gavrilov also warned that Moscow will retaliate if the West were to supply Kiev with long-range weaponry to carry out strikes against Russian cities.

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DU ammunition was heavily used by US forces and their allies in the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Doctors have said the radioactive material — a by-product of spent nuclear fuel — left strewn around the country has caused horrific birth defects and increased rates of cancer.

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study published by the US federal National Institutes of Health in 2021 concluded that the evidence gathered “suggests possible associations between exposure to depleted uranium and adverse health outcomes among the Iraqi population.”

Serbian citizens have also sued NATO over its use of around 15 tonnes of DU munitions in its 1999 war on the Balkan republic in support of Kosovar separatist militants, but the US alliance has claimed it has legal immunity from litigation.

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Fabio G.C. Carisio

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