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The UK’s Nuclear Gamble: A Closer Look at the Uranium Ammo Headed to Ukraine

by Lucas Garcia
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Russia said it is going to attack Ukraine more severely after the UK government said they would give Ukraine armor-piercing rounds that contain tiny amounts of uranium. The British defense ministry officially announced this on Monday.

The United States developed a type of bomb during the Cold War which would be able to destroy Soviet tanks. This includes the same T-72 tank that Ukraine is using in its effort to win a battle in the east. This bomb contains uranium, but not enough to cause an explosion like a nuclear weapon would. Edward Geist, an expert on nuclear matters, said this can’t happen.

Even though the Russians warned that using this special ammunition could lead to greater problems, both the British ministry and the White House ignored these warnings. What makes this ammo special is it isn’t a nuclear weapon yet it can still have dangerous risks. Below are more details about it:

“Piercing War Zones

Depleted uranium is a material that is left over from the process used to create enriched uranium, which is only used for nuclear fuel and weapons. Depleted uranium may not be as strong as enriched uranium, and it won’t cause a nuclear reaction, but it has an important quality – it’s denser than lead. This makes it useful for weapons because “it just keeps going through armor and then heats up so much that it sets things on fire,” explained Geist.

When fired, a depleted uranium munition turns into what is essentially a fast-flying metal dart, according to Scott Boston from RAND senior defense analyst.

Back in the 70s, the U.S. Army created a type of bullet that was able to pierce through armour and it called them ‘depleted uranium rounds’. The depleted uranium was also mixed into special armour so that it became much stronger. This kind of round could be fired from an Air Force plane called the A-10 which is specifically made for taking out tanks too. The American military are still using this type of weapon and they’re now making something called the M829A4 armor piercing rounds for their M1A2 Abrams tank.

A Pentagon spokesperson, Marine Corps Lt. Col. Garron Garn, said in a statement Thursday that the Department of Defense (DOD) has been using rounds made of depleted uranium for many years now because these sorts of rounds help protect people fighting in wars. Garn also pointed out that Russia and other countries make use of such weapons as well.

Garn refused to talk about if the M1A1 tanks they were getting ready for Ukraine were going to have a protective layer of depleted uranium or not. He said it was a secret.

Putin Warns of Reaction if West Uses Nuclear Weapons

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would react if the West starts using weapons with nuclear components. The Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said that Britain was going too far by using these dangerous munitions, and it may just cause more problems instead of solving them.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said there were not many steps left to take. But the White House disagreed and said it was a fake claim made by Russia. U.S.’s National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby even called it a ‘straw man’ through which Russia is trying to do something bad.

Russia doesn’t want Ukraine to have the same type of bombs that they do, known as depleted uranium munitions. The White House said someone who’s not allowed to give their name told them this. The Pentagon also said that the U.S. isn’t sending Ukraine any of these bombs from its own stockpile.

The Dangerous Effects of Depleted Uranium Ammunition Exposed

U.N. nuclear watchdogs are warning us to be careful around depleted uranium weapons because using these weapons can release small amounts of radiation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency recommends to use as little of this type of ammunition as possible and always wear protective gloves when handling it. They also suggest a campaign is necessary to help teach people not to touch the projectiles. These safety precautions must be carefully considered for any situation where there are many ammunitions in one area.

The IAEA says that depleted uranium is mostly a dangerous chemical and not something that causes radiation. If we breathe in small particles of it, some could get stuck in our stomach and cause harm to our kidneys. For example, too much build up in our kidneys can lead to damages or even kidney failure.

The radioactivity of a depleted uranium round is bad, not good. If the U.S. military can find a similar material that doesn’t have the radioactivity, it would probably switch to using that instead.

Depleted uranium ammunition was used during the Gulf War in 1991 and again in 2003 against Iraq. In the same war, it was also used in Serbia and Kosovo. U.S. soldiers that participated in those wars are now wondering if the use of this ammo might have led to the health problems they’re currently facing.

Vyacheslav Volodin from Russia spoke up about this issue and suggested that using these rounds around Europe could potentially cause a global tragedy.

Alexei Volodin, a spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense said that when the U.S. used ammunition in places like Former Yugoslavia and Iraq, it caused problems like radioactive contamination and an increase in cancer cases. He was backed up by three other Associated Press writers from Washington D.C., Berlin, and Nicosia. For more information on Russia’s war in Ukraine, please read https://bigbignews.net/russia-ukraine .

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