MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow would be “forced to react” if Britain gives Ukraine military supplies, including armour-piercing ammunition which...
MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow would be “forced to react” if Britain gives Ukraine military supplies, including armour-piercing ammunition which contains depleted uranium.
“The United Kingdom... announced not only the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but also shells with depleted uranium. If this happens, Russia will be forced to react,” Putin told reporters after talks at the Kremlin with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Putin was reacting to a written response by a UK defence minister, Annabel Goldie, who was asked whether “any of the ammunition currently being supplied to Ukraine contains depleted uranium”.
She responded on Monday that “alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armour piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium.
“Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armoured vehicles.” Depleted uranium is a by-product of the nuclear enriching process used to make nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons. It is around 60 percent as radioactive as natural uranium.
Its heaviness lends itself for use in armour piercing rounds as it helps them easily penetrate steel. But the United Nations Environment Program has described it as a “chemically and radiologically toxic heavy metal.”