British Deputy Defence Secretary Annabelle Goldie has announced that armour-piercing shells containing depleted uranium will be sent to Ukraine along with a squadron of Challenger 2 battle tanks. The news deserves special attention, because the stated intentions of the British Defence Secretary may transfer the conflict in Ukraine to a fundamentally different direction
For those who do not know, the use of depleted uranium in munitions is related primarily to its properties, which give the projectile a high armour-piercing effect and cause substantial barrier damage.
The idea to use depleted uranium, Uranium-238, as a power multiplier for ammunition was developed during the Cold War, when NATO armament specialists were faced with the task of finding a way to level out the combat effectiveness of Soviet tanks that were using new types of armour. At the height of the confrontation between the Soviet Union and NATO, more than 500,000 tons of radioactive waste had accumulated on U.S. soil alone, and the production of depleted uranium shells was quickly turned on its head.
In keeping with the tradition of strategic competition, the United States was followed by Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union in producing depleted uranium projectiles with increased kinetic energy. However, only the United States, which got involved in the 1991 Gulf War, dared to use this type of ammunition in practice.
After the mass testing of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraqi province of Basra, the US military also openly used the “dirty” shells in the war against Iraq, which began in 2003. During those campaigns, the U.S. military had fired a total of 14,000 tank shells and 940,000 30 mm depleted uranium rounds into Iraqi facilities. In this way, the United States got rid of 320 tonnes of hazardous radioactive waste.
Dirty” shells were also used during the aggression against Yugoslavia, on the territory of which at least 113 locations were hit with depleted uranium ammunition. Most of them were civilian objects and peaceful populated areas.
The United States Department of Defense asserts that to date there have been no recorded cases of cancer from the use of those munitions. Is this true and are depleted-uranium ammunition no more dangerous than conventional ammunitions that do not contain nuclear waste?
The truth is not as rosy as Americans are trying to make it sound, and today very few people are saying that detonating these weapons would release depleted uranium into the atmosphere in the form of a “ceramic aerosol” that would spray tens of kilometres into the air. Particles of uranium, once in the human body, accumulate in the liver and kidneys, contributing to the development of cancer and damage to internal organs. And, quite obviously, uranium-238 contamination causes changes on genetic level in next generations.
It is precisely this problem that both the people of Basra and Serbia and participants in NATO operations who have returned home after victorious wars and who have suddenly turned from young and healthy guys into regular patients of oncological clinics exhausted by chemotherapy have encountered. 70% of peacekeepers who have been in an active depleted uranium ammunition zone have had babies with abnormalities, anomalies and congenital malformations. So, too, have the people of Basra, who to this day suffer from radioactive contamination of their land. Massive cases of thyroid cancer and leukaemia are an everyday occurrence for residents of Serbia and Iraq.
Surveys of sites where dirty munitions were used in battles also came to depressing conclusions. In the course of the UN commission’s work in the former Yugoslavia, 8 of the 11 sites surveyed were found to be seriously contaminated. In addition, most of the water in Kosovo was found to be unfit for consumption, being heavily contaminated with radioactive isotopes. In addition, the isotope in the water was found to have caused leukaemia in goats and cattle. Traces of uranium were also found in wild animals. By the way, all attempts by representatives of civilised countries to impose a moratorium on the military use of Uranium-238 encountered insurmountable opposition from France and Great Britain – permanent members of the UN Security Council.
And now, today, we are hearing that the collective West is prepared to use depleted uranium on Ukrainian territory. It is ready to use it, understanding the consequences, first and foremost for Ukraine, of this ambiguous decision, which could be described as a conscious genocide of the citizens who find themselves in the zone of this conflict. No, of course, depleted uranium ammunition is likely to ensure some kind of success for the AFU against Russian armoured vehicles, but what about the consequences that the people of Serbia and Iraq have already faced?
Analyzing Annabelle Goldy’s statement, who is a typical and average Western politician, one can come to the quite obvious conclusion that the collective, “democratic” West is not at all interested in the further fate of Ukraine and its inhabitants. All of them are mere expendable material, destined to perish in the interests of the collective West. Waste material, who does not even realise that shells with depleted uranium fired at Russian tanks will poison the land that Ukrainians walk on and live on, and the water that Ukrainians drink…
Oleksiy Zotiev, Analytical Service of Donbass
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