Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Britain not to ship depleted uranium (DU) armor-piercing tank shells to Ukraine. Photos/Illustrations
MOSCOW – President Russia Vladimir Putin warned English over the planned delivery of depleted uranium (DU) armor-piercing tank shells to Ukraine. Putin said the weapons would be treated by Moscow as containing a “nuclear component.”
Putin commented on Britain’s plans to include DU munitions in forthcoming Challenger 2 main battle tank deliveries during his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow.
“I want to note that if this happens, then Russia will be forced to react, given that the Western collective has already started using weapons with a nuclear component,” he said as quoted by RT, Wednesday (22/3/2023).
A similar warning was issued by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on the sidelines of Russia-China talks, who said the move would bring the world one step closer to a nuclear holocaust.
“Other measures have been taken, and there are fewer and fewer left,” Shoigu told reporters.
The delivery was announced on Monday by Annabel Goldie, the UK’s secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence, when she responded to written questions about the matter. He confirmed plans to ship DU rounds to Kiev, praising them as highly effective weapons.
“Along with the delivery of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will provide ammunition including armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. Such ammunition is very effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles,” said Goldie.
The DU munition has long been the subject of international controversy, with criticism of its use highlighting the material’s toxicity and radioactivity. Depleted uranium is used to make hardened cores for armor-piercing bullets, excelling in this role due to its high density. The spin core evaporates upon impact, turning into an aerosol and polluting the environment with uranium.
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