Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned Britain’s plan to send depleted uranium tank munitions to Ukraine. Putin claimed that Moscow would be forced to respond accordingly.
In a speech in London on Monday, Secretary of State for Defense Annabel Goldie said some of the Challenger 2 tank munitions Britain is sending to Ukraine contain armored shells containing depleted uranium.
The use of depleted uranium in weapons
Depleted uranium is used in weapons because its density and other physical properties make it easier to penetrate tanks and armor.
However, it poses a particular health risk in the immediate vicinity of impact sites, where dust can enter people’s lungs and vital organs.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warns of possible “nuclear collision”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that Britain’s decision to send depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine left fewer moves for a possible “nuclear clash” between Russia and the West.
“Another step has been taken and there are fewer and fewer of them left,” he told reporters in statements quoted by national agencies.
Russian politicians and commentators have made a series of combative remarks since last year’s invasion of Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow would be ready to deploy its massive nuclear arsenal if necessary.
Russia can respond
“Of course Russia has something to respond to this,” Shoigu told reporters when asked about the munitions.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the plan a “Yugoslav scenario” because the munitions caused cancer and contaminated the environment.
The shipment of the ammunition to Ukraine has fueled tensions between the West and Russia. Britain has said the shipment demonstrates its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.