A depleted uranium round is fired from the barrel of a Challenger 2 at the Kirkcudbright Training Area in Dumfries and Galloway February 20, 2001. Photo/BR/REUTERS
MOSCOW – The potential use of Western-supplied uranium shell ammunition by Ukraine will have a devastating effect on the country’s economy and population.
The devastating impact will last for centuries to come, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense (Kemhan) warning on Friday (24/3/2023).
Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, in charge of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, issued a scathing criticism of Britain’s plan to bolster Kiev with armor-piercing shells containing depleted uranium.
He noted such munitions had only ever been used in combat by NATO countries, particularly during the Iraq War, when the US used at least 300 tons of depleted uranium.
“As a result, the radiation situation in the city of Fallujah (Iraq) is much worse than in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the nuclear bombing by the United States,” Kirillov said.
He recalled that Fallujah had been dubbed the “second Chernobyl,” while local residents were suffering from a skyrocketing number of cancer cases.
“The West is acutely aware of the consequences of using such weapons,” the general said.
“Although it will cause irreparable harm to the health of Ukrainian troops and civilians, NATO countries, in particular the UK, expressed readiness to supply this type of weapons to the Kiev regime,” Kirillov said.
He warned that the use of ammunition would contaminate agricultural land. “Apart from infecting its own population, this will cause tremendous economic damage to the Ukrainian agro-industrial complex… reducing exports of agricultural products from Ukrainian territory for decades, if not centuries to come,” the general said.
Britain’s plans to ship depleted uranium to Ukraine for use with the Challenger 2 battle tank were first disclosed on Monday, sparking an outcry from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which called the move a sign of “absolute carelessness, irresponsibility and impunity” on the part of London and Washington.
While the US has said it has no plans to support Ukraine with such munitions, it has dismissed Russia’s concerns over the matter.
The US described the uranium shells as a “regular type of munition” that “has been in use for decades.”
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