The British government will give Ukraine radioactive depleted uranium ammunition for the tanks it has promised the Kiev regime.
The UK has pledged 14 of its 227 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, along with a plethora of other heavy arms, to Ukraine to prolong its conflict with Russia.
“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,” Deputy Defence Minister Annabel Goldie told Parliament on Tuesday in response to a question from Lord Raymond Hylton. “Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armoured vehicles.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has already pledged 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) to Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime in Kiev. The tanks have been out of production for over 20 years and only 227 remain in service with the British army.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has also announced that three batteries of the army’s AS90 155mm self-propelled howitzers will also be sent, adding up to at least 24 vehicles. The Ministry of Defence has reportedly placed an order for Archer wheeled motorised howitzers from BAe System’s Swedish subsidiary Bofors after it emerged that the donated vehicles represent most of the army’s functional artillery.
Depleted uranium (DU) ammunition was heavily used by US forces and their allies in the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Doctors have said the radioactive material — a by-product of spent nuclear fuel — left strewn around the country has caused horrific birth defects and increased rates of cancer.
A study published by the US federal National Institutes of Health in 2021 concluded that the evidence gathered “suggests possible associations between exposure to depleted uranium and adverse health outcomes among the Iraqi population.
“Serbian citizens have also sued NATO over its use of around 15 tonnes of DU munitions in its 1999 war on the Balkan republic in support of Kosovar separatist militants, but the US alliance has claimed it has legal immunity from litigation.
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