US depleted uranium package to Ukraine to be announced soon: Reuters
Following news that Ukrainian soldiers completed their training on M1 Abrams tanks, reports indicate that the US will provide Kiev with depleted uranium shells.
The US will follow in the UK's footsteps and provide Ukraine with shipments of depleted uranium shells, Reuters reported.
The shells will be utilized by the US M1 Abrams tanks, which are expected to be available for use on the frontline soon.
Unnamed US officials say the delivery of the hazardous munitions will be announced as part of the next multi-million dollar arms aid, following a recent $250 million package announced earlier on Tuesday.
The expected announcement follows an earlier decision by the United Kingdom to train Ukrainian troops on the use of depleted uranium shells, as well as its eventual use on the frontline against Russia.
This move was a cause of outrage in Moscow as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the delivery would mark "a new and very serious stage" for the war in Ukraine.
Similarly, Russian Ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov warned, back in March, that the US-led West has irrevocably crossed a perilous line that could lead to a nuclear Armageddon.
"It seems that the enlightened West, led by Washington, has irrevocably decided to bring humanity to a dangerous line, beyond which nuclear Armageddon looms more and more clearly," Antonov said, as cited by the Russian diplomatic mission in the United States.
In response to the UK's plans, the United States tried to cover up for such UK supplies to Ukraine by claiming that their use was commonplace as it would soon do to justify its own arms package to Kiev.
"This kind of ammunition is fairly commonplace, been in use for decades," US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said on March 22.
Russia responded to the UK's move by deploying tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus after a deal was reached with Minsk over the transfer and use of the weapons.
DU shells allow for improved armor-piercing capabilities; however, their extensive use in Iraq has shown the everlasting effects that these munitions have on human life.
Iraqi environmental pollution activist and researcher Dr. Souad Naji al-Azzawi revealed some aspects of Iraq’s decades-long crisis of nuclear radioactive pollution, warning of the danger of ignoring the problem, which led to environmental and health problems that posed a grave threat to the health of the Iraqi people.
Al-Azzawi told Sputnik that during the Second Gulf War of 1991, around one million shells of different sizes that contained depleted uranium were used, which contaminated close to 1750 km2 of land west of Al-Basra Province in Iraq. Some consider that the combined destructive force of these shells was seven times that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima during WW2.
The US' delivery of DU to Kiev has been rumored since June this year. However, it now seems more probable as Ukrainian soldiers completed their training on M1 Abrams tanks in Germany on Friday while 10 armored vehicles are expected to be delivered to Kiev in mid-September.