Eastern Europe

White House Won’t Say If U.S. Will Send Depleted Uranian Ammo To Ukraine

Bradley Fighting Vehicle

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The Biden administration is refusing to say whether or not it intends to provide Ukraine with radioactive depleted uranium rounds to accompany the Bradley Fighting Vehicles the U.S. intends to provide Kyiv.

Depleted uranium is a byproduct of producing enriched uranium. It is extremely dense, which makes it useful for piercing the armor of tanks. However, depleted uranium is radioactive and the use of the ammunition has been linked to cancer and birth defects. The Bradleys that the U.S. is planning to send to Ukraine can be equipped with depleted uranium ammunition.

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On Wednesday, a senior Biden administration official said, “I’m not going to get into the technical specifics” when asked if the Bradleys the administration is providing Ukraine will be equipped with depleted uranium shells. The official also refused to answer the question of whether or not the M1 Abrams tanks the Pentagon is sending to Kyiv will include a depleted uranium cage.

The head of Russia’s delegation in Vienna on arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, has warned that Moscow would see the use of depleted uranium weapons by Ukrainian forces as the use of a “dirty bomb.” Gavrilov claimed that the Leopard 2 tanks that Germany is sending Ukraine are also capable of being equipped with depleted uranium rounds.

According to the local Russian news agency TASS, Gavrilov said, “In case such munitions for NATO-made heavy weapons are supplied to Kyiv, we will consider that as the use of dirty nuclear bombs against Russia with all the consequences that come with it.”

In Iraq, the numbers of cancer and birth defects both increased after the Gulf War during which the U.S. fired approximately 1 million depleted uranium rounds. Depleted uranium ammunition was also used in the 2003 invasion and birth defects are still currently being reported in Fallujah.

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