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Depleted Uranium, Vladimir Putin |  Putin threatens the West after “nuclear” delivery

Depleted Uranium, Vladimir Putin | Putin threatens the West after “nuclear” delivery

On Monday afternoon it was learned that Britain would supply Ukraine with grenades containing depleted uranium. The British government confirmed that it will send this armor-piercing ammunition with 14 Challenger 2 tanks. When this ammunition hits the target, a significant part of the uranium turns into dust, which catches fire. The crews of the armored vehicles were killed by shrapnel and burns.

News of the handover quickly spread on Russia’s social media, and President Vladimir Putin caught up with the press after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday. Then he was asked how Russia should respond to this.

– Putin said if this happens, then Russia will have to respond, given that now the West has begun to massively use weapons with a nuclear component.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was also quick to issue a sharp warning.

– Now a new step is being taken, and there will be fewer and fewer of them again, he said, referring to the fact that, in his view, the danger of using nuclear weapons is now increasing.

Misleading statement

Palle Ydstebø is Lieutenant Colonel and Head of Land Forces at the Norwegian Military Academy. He has followed the war in Ukraine closely, and believes these statements join a long line of lies from Russia.

– This is a heavy metal, not a nuclear component. The Russians know this, and this is complete nonsense. Putin is bluffing, but here the Russians have a problem they can make a fuss about. There are also several reports, though unconfirmed, that the Russians used this type of ammunition themselves, Ydstebø tells Nettavisen.

The British Ministry of Defense also reacted strongly to Putin’s remarks.

The British Army has used depleted uranium as an armor-piercing munition for decades. It is a standard component and has nothing to do with weapons or nuclear components. A spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense said, according to the report, that Russia knows this, but is spreading false information on purpose. Sky News.

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– How does this type of ammunition work in handstepo combat?

– It’s very effective. Uranium is one of the hardest and heaviest metals in existence. It has kinetic energy that burns through the tank. The expert replies that it is considered the best ammunition against tanks.

Facts about depleted uranium as an ammunition

Depleted uranium is used in armor-piercing munitions. Depleted uranium spear-shaped projectiles from 0.5 to 8 kg easily penetrate armor plates. This is because the mass density of uranium is 2.6 times greater than that of iron (20.2 g/mL vs. 7.87 g/mL). Depleted uranium is much cheaper than other high-density metals, such as tungsten (19.4 g/mL) and gold (19.3 g/mL). It is also readily available as production waste from uranium enrichment facilities.

Due to the energy released by the collision, uranium atoms are trapped on the back of the armor plate, and the dust spontaneously ignites in the air, forming uranium oxides. Uranium does not explode nuclear, but the dust is weakly radioactive.

UN forces (mainly by US forces) used large amounts of uranium munitions against Iraqi forces during the 1991 Gulf War. Smaller amounts were used by NATO forces during the 1999 Kosovo War.

source: Large Norwegian Encyclopedia


Depleted uranium was used in the 1991 Gulf War and later in the 1999 Kosovo War.. It is also claimed from several quarters that it was used in the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and in the Iraq war in 2003. After that, civilians and soldiers reported various health problems. Depleted uranium can cause serious damage to the kidneys and other vital organs of humans and animals, primarily through inhalation of the dust.

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«Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency I calculated that one should roughly inhale. 1/4 gram of depleted uranium, a dose too large under the circumstances, to exceed the maximum annual dose in a working condition. It is unlikely that such doses could cause disease, beyond a marginal increase in cancer risk“, He writes Large Norwegian Encyclopedia.

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Per Nergaard is the Assistant Secretary-General for Norwegian People’s Aid, having led the mining department for more than 20 years. Neergaard also has a background in the Norwegian Armed Forces, including as a UN soldier in Lebanon in the mid-1980s. It explains why the use of depleted uranium is controversial.

– The reason you use depleted uranium is because you get a projectile with high velocity and internal weight to fight armored targets. When the projectile hits, the core is crushed, and volatile uranium particles go into the environment. There is little research in the area, but access to health data shows increased incidences of cancer and other internal medicine conditions. There can be up to 60 percent of the radioactive material left after it has been used. Attempts have been made to dig deeper into the topic, including after the Gulf War when many came back with health problems, also known as “Gulf syndrome,” but there has been a lot of speculation and little knowledge, Neergaard tells Netavien.

And he continues:

– In 2012, the issue of imposing a ban was raised at the United Nations, but it ended with a UN resolution “calling for caution”, because the consequences were not sufficiently explained.

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In a Norwegian report from 2013 entitled “Health to combat ability 2013The conclusion was that there was no more cancer recurrence among Kosovo veterans than among non-Kosovo veterans. Norwegian soldiers serving in the KFOR force have expressed their concerns after it became known that large quantities of depleted uranium had been left on the Kosovo battlefield.

– annoying

Neergaard has over 25 years of experience in the field and as such he saw the aftermath of war in a way that very few people have. When asked what he thought about Britain sending depleted uranium to Ukraine, he answered firmly.

– It’s annoying. Norwegian People’s Aid will warn strongly against the use of depleted uranium. We see that the war in Ukraine has already had serious consequences for the environment. It takes place in heavily built-up areas, and all kinds of weapons and ammunition release massive amounts of chemicals. Ukraine is also the grain depot of the world, and it is highly vulnerable to hostilities ecologically. There is already cross-contamination, and the use of depleted uranium will only exacerbate the situation, says Nergaard.

– According to Edestpo, the ammunition is very effective against tanks. Isn’t that reason enough to use it?

– I see no basis for breaking with the already used classic armor-piercing ammunition, which has worked so well, Neergaard answers.

– When Putin then says that Russia will respond to this, because the West is moving to use “weapons with a nuclear component”, what do you say in this statement?

– It’s a nonsensical statement, Nergaard asserts.