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Russia blasts ‘inhumanity’ of US sending depleted uranium shells to Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia has denounced Washington’s plan to offer the Ukrainian army with ammunition containing Depleted Uranium as a part of a new $1bn assistance package to Kyiv, describing the choice to offer the controversial arms as inhuman.

The Pentagon mentioned on Wednesday that depleted Uranium ammunition for US-made Abrams tanks could be a part of a brand new army package deal value as much as $175m, out of greater than $1bn in civilian and defence assist that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced within the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

“The administration’s choice to provide weapons with depleted uranium is an indicator of inhumanity,” Russia’s embassy in Washington mentioned on the Telegram messaging app following the announcement.

“Clearly, with its concept of inflicting a ‘strategic defeat’, Washington is ready to battle not solely to the final Ukrainian but in addition to put off whole generations,” the embassy mentioned.

“The US is intentionally transferring weapons with indiscriminate results,” the embassy added.

“It’s absolutely conscious of the implications: explosions of such munitions consequence within the formation of a shifting radioactive cloud. Small particles of uranium settle within the respiratory tract, lungs, esophagus, accumulate in kidneys and liver, trigger most cancers and result in the inhibition of the entire organism’s features.”

Together with the Depleted Uranium Shells for tanks that the US plans to ship to Ukraine, the brand new army help package deal consists of Javelin anti-tank missiles, tactical air navigation programs and extra ammunition for Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket Methods (HIMARS), in line with the Pentagon.

Whereas the United Kingdom sent depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine earlier this 12 months, this would be the first US cargo to Ukraine of the controversial armour-piercing shells and it’s set to stir controversy over using such weapons on the battlefield.

The US was broadly criticised just lately for sending cluster bombs to Ukraine, regardless of considerations over the hazards such weapons pose to civilians.

The usage of depleted uranium shells isn’t banned underneath worldwide regulation.

However their use has been fiercely debated, with opponents such because the Worldwide Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons saying there are dangerous health risks from ingesting or inhaling depleted uranium dust, together with cancers and delivery defects.

Uranium is an especially dense metallic – about 1.7 occasions extra dense than lead – and is so exhausting that it doesn’t change form when it hits a goal. A by-product of uranium enrichment, depleted uranium ammunition can simply punch by means of armour plating and self-ignite in a searing cloud of mud and metallic.

Not radioactive

US Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned on Wednesday that the ammunition isn’t radioactive and “not anyplace near going into” the sphere of nuclear weaponry.

“It is a commonplace sort of munition that’s used notably for its armour-piercing capabilities,” he mentioned.

Following the UK’s provision of depleted uranium ammunition in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would “reply accordingly”, and accused the West of deploying weapons with a “nuclear part”.

Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov additionally mentioned on the time that the munitions have been “a step in direction of accelerating escalation”.

Putin introduced that Russia would reply to the UK by stationing tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus – the primary exterior Russia because the fall of the Soviet Union.

Blinken mentioned on Wednesday that the newest help to Kyiv would make sure that Ukraine “has what it wants” to achieve its ongoing counteroffensive in opposition to Russian forces, and in addition strengthen Ukraine’s longer-term defence capabilities.

“Definitely, we see the vital progress that’s being made now within the counteroffensive, and that’s very, very encouraging,” Blinken informed Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

The Institute for the Examine of Struggle, a Washington, DC-based suppose tank, mentioned on Wednesday that Ukraine’s army continued to report advances in opposition to Russia’s entrance traces within the counteroffensive, notably across the metropolis of Bakhmut within the Donetsk area and Robotyne within the Zaporizhia area.

(Al Jazeera)

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