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WorldAsiaFive questions about uranium-core shells Britain will transfer to Ukraine - Reuters

Five questions about uranium-core shells Britain will transfer to Ukraine – Reuters


1. What is this ammunition?

We are talking about British 120 mm armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber projectiles of the L26A1 and L27A1 types. Their armor penetration is 600 and 720 mm respectively.

It is with such shells that the command of the Ukrainian armed forces intends to equip the companies made up of the British Challenger 2 tanks transferred to Kiev.

According to open data, the L26A1 projectile adopted by the British Army in 1991 is capable of penetrating up to 443 mm of homogeneous armor. And do it at a distance of up to two kilometers.

And the L27A1, which appeared in the army in 1999, can penetrate up to 522 mm of armor at the same distance when firing the L30 cannon with an L14-type charge.

Depleted uranium is used as the core material for these projectiles. The density of this material is 2.5 times greater than that of other alloys and metals. Therefore, the projectile reaches a higher speed (up to 1575 m / s), due to which it is possible to achieve increased armor penetration.

According to some estimates, the ballistic parameters of these projectiles pose a significant threat to all outdated modifications of Russian tanks T-72B, T-72B3M, T-80BV.

It is with such shells that the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces intends to equip the companies consisting of the British Challenger 2 tanks transferred to Kiev

And even if the ammunition hits the front projection of armored vehicles.

At the same time, the frontal areas of modern Russian T-80BVM, T-90A and T-90M “Proryv” tanks were improved so that these armored vehicles could withstand “uranium” shells.

2. What danger do they represent for man and the environment?

There is experience with the use of “uranium” shells in armed conflicts. In the same former Yugoslavia, for example. “There, with the help of such ammunition, NATO destroyed, in particular, power lines. But they did not use tank fire, but elongated” feathered “shells for aircraft guns . As they say, feel the difference,” the editor said. -head of the magazine said in a conversation with RG ” Arsenal of the Fatherland” Viktor Murakhovsky.

  • As far as I know, tank ammunition with “uranium” cartridges was used only once in Iraq. I think some kind of PMC worked with him there. They hit the Iraqi tanks. But it turned out to be a complicated story. It seems that those who used this ammunition themselves later fell ill.

Let me just say: the classic factors of the use of nuclear weapons in the form of penetrating radiation, light radiation, electromagnetic pulse, strong shock wave, severe radioactive contamination of the area, etc. when using depleted uranium projectiles are absent.

But in any case, such ammunition will cause a lot of trouble, – the expert has no doubts.

“Depleted uranium shells are highly toxic and carcinogenic. Several hundred munitions can lead to contamination of soil and water and, consequently, serious illnesses among the population living in the region”, explains the chain of telegrams from military chronicles.

It should be noted that fine-grained aerosols, which people can inhale when firing such projectiles inside the tank, are especially dangerous. Penetration of uranium dust particles into the digestive and respiratory organs can cause severe chemical poisoning and provoke the development of oncological diseases.

3. What diseases are caused by depleted uranium projectiles?

The use of depleted uranium during NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999 had tragic consequences. Both the representatives of the civilian population and the military personnel of the countries of the alliance, in particular the Italian soldiers who were at the time in Kosovo and Metohija, suffered. The Italian prosecutor’s office was investigating the increasing number of cancer cases among Italian servicemen after their stay in Kosovo. More than 300 servicemen who were part of the NATO forces died of various types of tumors and more than 3,600 people fell ill, according to the Italian Association of Depleted Uranium Victims. The cancer rate among soldiers returning from Kosovo is five to six times higher than among the civilian population in Italy. According to experts, in places where NATO ammunition containing depleted uranium fell, radioactive contamination of the soil was recorded, exceeding the norm a thousand times. As a result, after some time, people living in these areas began to develop symptoms of cancer. For many, this story ended in death or disability. It is known that the impact of depleted uranium on a person leads to genetic mutations and the birth of offspring with psychophysical deformities. Specialists are registering more and more people with cancer among Serbian youth. Previously, this trend was not fixed. Only in the first ten years since the NATO bombings, more than 30,000 people fell ill with cancer in the republic, half of whom died. As a result, Serbia ranked first in the number of oncological diseases in Europe.

The decision of such supplies in Kiev leads to a tragedy on a global scale, which will mainly affect European states.

However, US authorities have denied a direct link between the use of radioactive projectiles and cancer. Madeleine Albright, then Secretary of State, acknowledged the use of radioactive projectiles by NATO forces, but tried to argue that “there is no evidence that could link soldiers’ health problems of peace and the depleted uranium weapons used by NATO during the war in Kosovo”. “.

4. Will the “uranium” shells change the course of the special operation?

“The very fact of the delivery of such ammunition to Ukraine, of course, sounds alarming. However, from the point of view of the impact on the course of hostilities, I believe that this is of no significant significance”, is sure Murakhovsky. for this to happen, the UK must send several echelons full of uranium-core shells, but, of course, there is no question of their deliveries in such a quantity.

How many tanks did London promise Zelenskyyy? If I remember correctly, two squadrons, 28 vehicles. Let’s say that for each they will give several ammo. At best, only a few thousand hits. A tank ammunition does not consist solely of “uranium” shells. There are different types of conventional, unbreakable and other armor-piercing sub-calibers.

The Challenger has 53 cartridges. So count how many shells with a uranium core will be typed in a tank squadron. By modern combat standards, not bad.

And with such a small number of Challengers themselves, Ukraine is unlikely to turn the tide on the nearly 1,000 kilometer front line.

5. How does Russia assess these deliveries to Kiev?

Russian officials commented on the statement by Britain’s deputy defense minister.

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia would be forced to respond to the supply of depleted uranium shells to Ukraine as the West begins to use nuclear-based weapons.

“This decision leads to a tragedy on a global scale, which will primarily affect European states,” State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin wrote yesterday on his telegraph channel. “If this happens, there will be no turning back. Washington and its satellites (London, Brussels, Warsaw, etc.) are doing everything to make the ‘war on the last Ukrainian’ become a ‘war on the last European’ , Vyacheslav Volodin believes.

“If this is true, it means that they are ready not only to take risks, but to violate international humanitarian law, as was the case in Yugoslavia in 1999. Well, and many other things they allowed themselves, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, “- said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview published on the telegram channel of the program host Moscow. Kremlin. Putin Pavel Zarubin.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the use of depleted uranium munitions “genocide against the population against whom they are used and the population using them”.


Tokyo to dump water from emergency nuclear power plant into ocean

This summer, the Japanese government will start dumping water from the Fukushima-1 emergency nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. For a more harmonious implementation of its plans, official Tokyo will enlist the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the G7 countries. Thus, the representatives of the island state will push for the inclusion of a relevant clause in the document, which will be adopted following the meeting of energy ministers of the countries – members of the “Group of Seven” in April in Sapporo City. However, according to preliminary information, it is not possible to reach a consensus on this issue. The intentions of the Japanese authorities are criticized by China, a number of other neighbors of Japan, as well as representatives of the fishing industry. They all think that Tokyo doesn’t want to be realistic about the damage that will be done to the environment after the water drains.

In April 2021, Japanese authorities approved the discharge of large volumes of water into the ocean from the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. Currently, more than 1.25 million tons of liquid have accumulated in steel tanks on the territory of the power plant. The Japanese want to gradually dump it into the ocean over 30 years. TEPCO, which operates the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, says the water prepared for discharge is free of radioactive elements, but still contains tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. At the same time, its concentration would not exceed the permissible norm.

Prepared by Alexander Lenin

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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