US approves sending depleted uranium ammunition to Kyiv
After approving the shipment to Ukraine of cluster bombs, sadly famous for the devastating effects they cause wherever they explode, the United States Government has announced that it will now also send the controversial munitions with depleted uranium to Kyiv.
This decision is made after three months of discussions on armor-piercing bullets, which are believed to be highly effective against Russian army tanks. This will be the first time that the US sends this type of ammunition. Previously, the United Kingdom had equipped Ukrainian Challenger 2 tanks with this ammunition.
The Reuters agency already reported last week that the Americans had practically made this decision, of which the The Wall Street Journal He noted in June that there was debate among Pentagon commanders.
The crux of the matter is the contaminating content that this type of bullets can leave behind. Senior US military officials indicated that, although depleted uranium is a byproduct of enriched uranium, this munition does not pose a radioactive threat.
In their argument, they stressed that a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear control body of the United Nations (UN), states that the existence of depleted uranium waste in the environment does not pose a danger. radiological for residents in areas affected by its use.
Just in case, a Pentagon spokesperson appealed on CNN for the Ukrainians to “responsibly use” this type of ammunition, 120 millimeters in caliber and intended for use in the Abrams tanks promised by the US to Ukraine last January. .
Russia considers it "an escalation step"
The shipment of depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine for American tanks is a "criminal act" that leads to escalation, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. "This is, in fact, a criminal act, I cannot give any other assessment," said the "number two" of Russian diplomacy on the sidelines of a conference on strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. , statements collected by EFE from the official TASS agency.
According to Riabkov, this announcement not only represents "an escalating step, but is a reflection of Washington's scandalous disregard for the environmental consequences of the use of this type of ammunition in a combat zone."
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby noted in a press conference that the package reflects that the US is "very focused" on helping Ukraine succeed in the counteroffensive against Russia. Depleted uranium munitions, he added, are "heavier" than normal artillery and "very effective" against tanks.
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