- Putin said Russia will ‘respond accordingly’ after the U.K. pledged ammunition containing depleted uranium to Ukraine
- The U.K. argued that it has been using ammo with depleted uranium ‘for decades’
- Depleted uranium is the by-product of natural uranium used in making nuclear weapons
The United Kingdom on Tuesday dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s threat of retaliation for sending ammunition with a “nuclear component” to Ukraine amid the war.
On Monday, U.K. Defense Minister Annabel Goldie confirmed that Britain will send ammunition shells containing depleted uranium to Ukraine. This was later referenced by Putin at a press conference Tuesday, followed by a threat of retaliation.
“It seems that the West really decided to fight with Russia to the last Ukrainian – no longer in words, but in deeds. But I would like to note in this regard that if all this happens, then Russia will have to respond accordingly,” Putin told reporters after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as translated via Google Translate.
In response to Putin’s threats, a spokesperson for the U. This may interest you : Similar Swiss Banks With Differing Fortunes.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) argued that Britain “has used depleted uranium in its armor-piercing shells for decades” and accused Russia of attempting to misinform people.
“It is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities. Russia knows this, but is deliberately trying to disinform,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by CNN.
“Independent research by scientists from groups such as the Royal Society has assessed that any impact to personal health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium munitions is likely to be low,” the spokesperson continued.
Col. Hamish de Breton-Gordon, a former British Army tank commander, also slammed Putin’s comments as “classic disinformation.” He said the Russian president’s suggestion that depleted uranium rounds were linked to nuclear weapons was “laughable,” per BBC News.
Depleted uranium is the by-product of natural uranium that has been enriched, either for making nuclear weapons or for nuclear reactor fuel. In its solid form, depleted uranium is only mildly radioactive.
Depleted uranium is also a heavy substance and is about 1.7 times denser than lead. This property makes it useful for hardening rounds so they can easily penetrate armor and steel.
People who are exposed to depleted uranium and its toxic substances may experience skin irritation, kidney failure and an increased risk of cancer, according to a 2022 UN Environment Program report.