London will supply a batch of depleted uranium shells to Ukraine as part of a military aid package, UK's Minister of State for Defence Annabel Goldie said.
In addition with a company of Challenger 2 tanks, the UK will supply ammunition, including armor-piercing shells that contain depleted uranium, Goldie said.
When compared to conventional shells, projectiles with depleted uranium cores have a different diameter of the warhead. Their actual velocity may reach 6,120 kilometers per hour or even more. The high specific gravity of the core makes such a shell a lot more powerful in terms of armor penetration properties. Such ammunition had been used during the bombings of Yugoslavia, Operation Desert Storm and during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The use of depleted uranium shells has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. However, their use leads to dust emissions that may pollute the environment over time.
Russia will have to respond to the supplies of depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, President Putin said, RIA Novosti reports.
“I would like to note here that if this is going to happen, then Russia will be forced to react accordingly bearing in mind that the collective West is starting to use weapons with a nuclear component,” Putin said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the decision of the British government to supply depleted uranium shells to Ukraine. According to Lavrov, there is nothing surprising about such a decision because the United Kingdom has long lost its guiding principles.
According to the diplomat, London's actions undermine strategic stability around the world.
"If this is true, then they are ready not only to take risks, but also to violate international humanitarian law, as was the case in 1999 in Yugoslavia," Sergei Lavrov said.
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Accession of the Kharkiv region to the Russian Federation will be the next phase of the special military operation. It is the Kharkiv region, from where the armed Forces of Ukraine have been shelling Russia's Belgorod