UK dismisses Putin’s ‘misinformation’ on depleted uranium tank munitions

Britain accused President Vladimir Putin of deliberate disinformation after he claimed the UK was supplying Ukraine with “weapons with a nuclear component”.

Following talks in Moscow with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin said Russia “will respond accordingly” if Britain sends depleted uranium tank munitions to the Kiev government.

However, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) dismissed the warning, saying armor-piercing shells had been standard equipment for decades and “had nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities.”

In a press conference together with Xi, the Russian leader pointed out British plans to send depleted uranium shells to the Ukrainians along with a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

“It seems that the West intends to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” he said.

“If that happens, Russia will respond accordingly, as the collective West is starting to use weapons with a nuclear component.”

He did not elaborate on what the answer might be.

In response, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said: “In addition to awarding a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will provide ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

Challenger 2 main battle tank
Britain is sending depleted uranium shells along with a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine (Ben Birchall/AP)

“Such shells are very effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.

“The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armor-piercing shells for decades. It is a standard component and has nothing to do with weapons or nuclear capabilities.

“Russia knows this, but is deliberately trying to misinform.”

The spokesman added that independent research by scientists from groups including the Royal Society had assessed any impact on personal health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium ammunition as “probably low”.

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