The supply of depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine is “a criminal act”. Russia attacks the United States after the announcement of new aid from Washington to Kiev at a crucial stage of the war. Washington has allocated a new package for Ukraine: military aid, in particular, includes depleted uranium ammunition and in particular 120 mm projectiles that will be used by the Abrams, the stars and stripes tank that Kiev is about to receive. The characteristics of depleted uranium ammunition guarantee an advantage to those who use them: the bullets are able to create greater damage than ordinary ammunition. These ‘skills’ are considered fundamental in a complex phase of the war. Kiev’s counter-offensive advances south, where minefields and Russian defense lines slow down Ukrainian progress.
“It’s not just a step in an escalation. It’s a signal of Washington’s outrageous disregard for the environmental consequences of using this type of munition in a war zone,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. in a press conference according to the Ria agency.
Moscow’s concerns are quickly defused by Washington: the use of depleted uranium ammunition does not represent a health hazard, as warned by Russia, the Pentagon retorts.
“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said there is no evidence that depleted uranium rounds cause cancer,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said. that there has been no increase in leukemia or other confirmed cancers following any exposure to uranium, or depleted uranium, and the IAEA has also stated unequivocally that there is no proven link between exposure to depleted uranium and ‘increased cancers or significant health or environmental impacts”.
WHAT ARE DEPLETED URANIUM AMMUNITION
Depleted uranium is what is left over when most of the highly radioactive isotopes of uranium have been mined from the metal for use in nuclear fuel production or nuclear weapons.
Depleted uranium is much less radioactive than enriched uranium and is unable to produce a nuclear reaction. The density makes it effective when used for the production of ammunition: the density is almost double that which characterizes lead, the metal par excellence in ammunition. “A common misconception is that radiation is the primary risk from the use of depleted uranium,” according to a RAND Corporation report cited by the CMM. “This is not the case in most battlefield exposure scenarios.”