The Pentagon recently disclosed that as part of the latest $175 million batch of military assistance, the Biden administration will be sending controversial depleted uranium weapons to Ukraine.
The decision follows months of discussion over the armor-piercing shells, which will significantly impact Russian tanks. This is the first occasion that the United States has delivered ammo of this sort to Ukraine, while the United Kingdom has previously given similar supplies to outfit Ukraine’s Challenger 2 tanks.
A report shows the U.S. earlier committed 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, and the package includes an undisclosed quantity of 120mm depleted-uranium tank shells to equip them. More air defense systems, anti-tank weapons, artillery shells, and other hardware will help Ukraine fight against Russia.
U.S. authorities claim that depleted uranium weapons are widespread and do not pose a radioactive concern even though depleted uranium is a remnant of the enrichment of uranium. They refer to reports by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which concluded that the presence of depleted uranium wastes scattered in the environment does not represent a radioactive concern to the inhabitants of the impacted areas.
The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons argues that exposure to or ingesting dust poses serious health concerns, including cancer.
After the White House decided to send cluster bombs to Ukraine, which are prohibited in over 100 nations because of the risk they pose to people from unexploded ordnance, they opted to deliver depleted uranium weaponry instead.
With the new Abrams tanks, U.S. officials hope Ukraine can speed up its counteroffensive in the southeast.
The Kremlin condemned American intentions to send depleted uranium tank munitions to Ukraine, saying the United States would be accountable for any long-term consequences from deploying such weapons.
According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, it is terrible news.
He claimed the number of people diagnosed with cancer has skyrocketed with the widespread use of these shells. Those parts of Ukraine where they are implemented will face the same fate.
Reports show that if Ukraine were to get these weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned he would use depleted uranium munitions.