Putin’s Threat to Depleted Uranium Is ‘Latest Twist in Propaganda War’: Expert


Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to “respond accordingly” if Britain proceeds to supply Ukrainian forces with tank ammunition containing depleted uranium.

After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow, Putin expressed concern about ammunition the UK is supplying to the government in Kiev and a squadron of Challenger 2 tanks.

Putin said that Xi was sitting next to him and said, “It looks like the West is going to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. If that happens, Russia will react accordingly.” Given that you’re starting to use weapons with elements.

Tim Ripley, defense analyst and author of Little Green Men: The Story Behind Russia’s New Military Power, said it was “the latest twist in the propaganda warfare.”

he said: In Russian tales they say that the West is flocking to them. And this is another example of the West flocking to them. ”

“Best for business”

Ripley said it was no coincidence that Xi was sitting next to Putin when he spoke, saying that the Russian president knows “bashing the British is good for business” and that Xi He said it would appeal to his “feel good place.”

Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Moscow Kremlin on March 21, 2023. (Sergei Karpukhin/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Putin’s comments followed Monday’s approval in the Senate to equip ex-British Army tanks given to Ukrainians with depleted uranium ammunition.

Fellow Crossbench Lord Hylton, 90, asked the Defense Minister baroness goldie“whether any of the ammunition currently supplied to Ukraine contains depleted uranium”.

Goldie replied: Such bullets are very effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles. ”

The defense ministry later accused Putin of spreading disinformation and said the ammunition had “nothing to do with nuclear weapons or nuclear capabilities.”

A Department of Defense spokesman told PA: This is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities. Russia knows this, but is deliberately trying to leak information. ”

The defense ministry said its own research assessed the personal health and environmental impacts of the use of depleted uranium munitions as “likely to be low.”

Ripley said, “You’re right that they’re not nuclear bombs. But they’re made by refining some of the waste from the uranium used in nuclear power plants.”

he said: They have a conventional standard weapon with an armor-piercing tungsten warhead, but use this depleted uranium round that penetrates less dense armor to get through these more heavily protected tanks. I’m using. ”

Epoch Times photo
On March 19, 2015, a Challenger 2 tank opened fire during an exercise in Salisbury, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Depleted uranium fragments are believed to be responsible for Gulf War Syndrome, which killed 33,000 British veterans and 200,000 US soldiers who served in Iraq during the initial conflict with Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991. impacted.

Study ruled out link to Gulf War Syndrome

But in 2021 science study Researchers at the University of Portsmouth definitively ruled it out.

Symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome include fatigue, headache, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, breathing problems, and memory problems.

Researchers in Portsmouth believed the condition was caused by exposure to the sarin nerve agent found in Iraq’s chemical weapons caches.

Randall Parrish, a research professor of isotopic geology at the University of Portsmouth, has developed a method to detect depleted uranium in urine from exposures many years ago. He tested 154 of his US Gulf War veterans with the disease and found no trace of depleted uranium.

Parrish said: The absence of depleted uranium in the bodies of sick people in sufficient quantities to cause disease has led many, including patients, to suspect that depleted uranium could be the cause of their disease for 30 years. It will surprise you. ”

“Depleted uranium munitions have been used in the conflict as an effective weapon to destroy Iraqi tanks, and their use could litter Iraq and Kuwait with uranium contamination, affecting local populations.”

Dr. Parrish said:

russian army
Russian tanks pass through the Russian-held area of ​​Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine, July 23, 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

“The problem is that it doesn’t detonate and cause a nuclear detonation, but they are related and could have played a significant role in the Gulf War Syndrome and the pollution of Iraq’s battlefields,” Ripley said. There is. Because when a tank is hit and the tank explodes, shattering the fragments of the warhead, it creates deposits of uranium deposits that pose a health risk if someone inhales them.”

“This is not an immediate risk, but a long-term health risk from battlefield contamination,” he added.

Ripley said it may come as a surprise that Ukrainians are happy to deploy depleted uranium weapons on their territory, but they are fighting desperately. It is considered the most effective anti-tank ammunition available.”

He said Putin’s “sinister” threats ranged from cyberattacks to more aggressive attacks on British drones and ships in the Black Sea to the seizure of British citizens in Moscow on trumped-up charges. Said it could mean anything.

PA Media contributed to this report.