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US is transferring uranium munitions to Ukraine soon

According to the Department of Defence, Ukraine will receive for the first-time depleted uranium ammunition from the USA. This will be sent as part of a new military aid package. The $175 million security assistance package is part of a $1 billion tranche of US aid for Ukraine that Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday during his visit to Kyiv.

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby thinks that the munitions will be very effective against armoured targets such as tanks. He told journalists:

“Depleted uranium rounds are denser, they’re heavier than normal tank rounds and they are very effective against armoured targets”.

The 120mm depleted uranium shells can be fired from the US Abrams M1 tanks that the Pentagon has shipped to Ukraine.

“We want to make sure that Ukraine can be as effective as possible in this counter-offensive. And our belief is that these uranium rounds will help them be more effective in the battlefield”.

The US used depleted uranium munitions in massive quantities in the 1990 and 2003 Gulf Wars and the Nato bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999.

Iraqi doctors have blamed depleted uranium for increased cancer rates in some parts of the country. Mr Kirby said referring to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention:

“Depleted uranium rounds in our scientific studies found – including by the CDC – pose no radioactive threat. They’re just denser than more conventional weapons, but there’s no carcinogenic radioactive threat posed by depleted uranium rounds”.

Depleted uranium is controversial because of it can cause cancer and birth defects. It is also about twice as dense as lead, toxic and radioactive. According to the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, ammunition with depleted uranium explodes on impact and releases uranium oxide dust in the air over a large area.

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