The U.S. recently announced plans to send depleted uranium (DU) tank rounds to Ukraine in aid of its offensive against Russia. It followed the decision of the United Kingdom to send the aforementioned munitions.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) confirmed this development in a June 13 article, quoting Biden administration officials who shared the update the day before. According to a senior administration official, there appears to be “no major obstacles” to approving the delivery of DU tank rounds to Ukraine. It came amid weeks of debate regarding ammunition for the M1 Abrams tanks Washington is set to give Kyiv. (Related: Biden sends 31 Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine after previously warning that doing so would lead to World War III.)
According to the WSJ, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has urged President Joe Biden to arm the Abrams tanks with DU rounds – which are regularly used by the U.S. Army. The outlet added that the rounds “are highly effective against Russian tanks,” adding: “Fired at a high rate of speed, the rounds are capable of penetrating the frontal armor of a Russian tank from a distance.”
However, some officials have opposed the delivery of DU rounds to Ukraine. The opposition centered mainly on the health and environmental risks that come with the tank munitions.
Other DoD officials, meanwhile, have favored sending cluster munitions to Kyiv – a move resisted by the officials at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. National Security Council. Human rights activists and some allied nations have also raised concerns that unexploded cluster munitions in the ground could lead to civilian casualties long after the conflict is over.
Despite this, it appears that there is no stopping Washington from issuing the lethal rounds alongside the earlier-promised Abrams tanks this fall. SHTF Plan‘s Mac Slavo observed: “This type of ammo has very high armor-piercing capabilities and could give Kyiv a boost in tank battles with Russia.”
UK earlier sent DU rounds to Ukraine
Prior to Washington’s announcement, the United Kingdom said it will supply DU tank shells to the Ukrainian Armed Forces alongside the 14 Challenger 2 tanks it promised. According to the British Ministry of Defense (MoD), the DU shells will enable Ukrainian tank crews to fire on enemy targets from greater distances. This increased firepower will also reduce Ukrainian units’ exposure to Russian counter-fire.
The Eastern Herald reported that several DU rounds London sent to Kyiv were destroyed when Russian Kalibr missiles hit a warehouse where these were stored on the night on May 13. Residents of the city of Khmelnytsky in western Ukraine, where the warehouse is located, panicked due to a sharp jump in radiation levels caused by the detonation of the DU shells.
DU is naturally occurring uranium that has been stripped of much of its radioactive matter. It is a waste product of the process used to enrich uranium that is then utilized for nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. The dense DU shells sharpen on impact and ignite after contact.
However, Dr. Marina Miron of Kings College London acknowledged that the DU used in the tank round is mildly radioactive. She elaborated: “The fear is that if DU shells land on the ground, they may contaminate the soil.”
According to an RT report, London’s decision to send DU rounds to Kyiv infuriated Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the move as “taking this escalation to a new and very serious stage.” The Russian Embassy in London blasted Washington and its allies for their willingness to turn Ukraine into “not only an anti-Russian military shooting range, but also a radioactive landfill.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin also responded to the U.K.’s announcement. He signaled that Moscow would respond by deploying tactical weapons in nearby Belarus – whose President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally. According to Putin, Moscow’s actions do not differ from Washington’s given that the U.S. has nuclear weapons deployed in five European nations.
WeaponsTechnology.news has more stories about military aid sent by the U.S. and the U.K. to Ukraine.
Watch this video about the explosion of the DU shells the U.K. sent to Ukraine following a Russian missile attack.
This video is from the Faniman20 channel on Brighteon.com.
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