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Calls for banning use of depleted Uranium shells surface in Ukraine as British Challenger tanks arrive

Russia insists that there could be grave consequences if Ukrainian army uses depleted uranium munitions in the ongoing conflict (Image courtesy: Twitter/@the_inteldrop)

A petition has been registered on the website of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with its author calling for a ban on the use of depleted uranium munitions by the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the ongoing conflict with Russia.

“The use of such ammunition is a crime against humanity and the planet, and their use is unacceptable and immoral. I demand a positive consideration of this petition and take precautions to exclude the possibility of the use of such ammunition by the Armed Forces of Ukraine until the final consideration of the petition,” the text of the petition reads.

It noted that contamination threatens not only the zone of application of shells – the spread of radioactive elements will be uncontrollable through groundwater and the movement of dust.

“Given the decay period of heavy metals, such pollution will be long-term for many generations to come. The defeat may also affect agricultural land, which will either make them unsuitable for use, or serve as an additional route for the spread of toxic substances and their entry into the human body,” the author of the appeal said.

For the petition to be considered by Zelensky, it has to receive at least receive 25,000 votes from the Ukrainians in the next 92 days.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com earlier this week, Russia remains quite concerned about United Kingdom’s plan to supply Ukraine with armour-piercing shells with depleted uranium for Challenger 2 battle tanks, 14 of which along with accompanying ammunition and spare parts are being “donated” to Ukraine.

London announced on Monday that the Ukrainian tank crews have completed training on Challenger 2 tanks and have returned home to continue their fight against Russia.

The UK military trainers spent several weeks training Ukrainian personnel how to operate and fight with the tanks. Instruction included how to command, drive and work together as a Challenger 2 tank crew and effectively identify and engage targets.

The British Defence Ministry also released a 30-minute documentary, showing an “unprecedented behind the scenes look” at the training, to mark the conclusion of training Ukrainian Challenger 2 crews.

The Russian Defence Ministry, meanwhile, continues to list the horrific consequences of supplying depleted uranium ammunition to Kyiv.

It stated that the main radiation hazard from depleted uranium occurs when it enters the body in the form of dust with streams of alpha radiation from small uranium particles deposited in the upper and lower respiratory tract, lungs and esophagus causing the development of malignant tumors. Accumulating in the kidneys, bone tissue and liver, uranium dust also leads to a change in the internal organs.

In addition, remaining in the soil, uranium compounds for a long time retain the danger of negative impact on people, animals and crops.

In a media briefing held in Moscow, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, Chief of the Russian Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Protection Force, accused NATO countries of using depleted uranium ammunition during past armed conflicts.

He mentioned that the United States widely used such ammunition in delivering strikes on targets in Iraqi cities of Amara, Baghdad, Basra, Karbala, Fallujah in 2003-2004, revealing that, according to the United Nations, the US used at least 300 tonnes of depleted uranium in Iraq.

“As a result, the current radiation situation in the city of Fallujah was much worse than in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the nuclear bombings by the United States. This city is still called the second Chernobyl,” said Kirillov.

He also stated that the NATO forces used depleted uranium aircraft munitions during the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

“As a result of the impact of a munition with depleted uranium, a mobile hot cloud of fine aerosol of uranium-238 and its oxides is formed, which, when exposed to the body, can later provoke the development of serious pathologies,” said the Russian General.

Russia is also of the view that, after the use of projectiles with depleted uranium, large areas under crops on the territory of Ukraine will be contaminated, and radioactive substances will be carried through vehicles to the rest of the territory.

“In addition to infecting its own population, this will cause enormous economic damage to the agro-industrial complex of Ukraine, primarily crop and livestock production, bringing down any export of agricultural products from the territory of Ukraine for many decades, if not centuries, in the future,” said Kirillov.

Also Read: What is Depleted Uranium — the new entrant in Russia-Ukraine conflict which is keeping world on edge