While the UK’s decision to send depleted uranium shells is unlikely to turn the tide, it will have a lasting, potentially devastating, impact.

by Joshua Frank, Responsible Statecraft

It’s sure to be a blood-soaked spring in Ukraine. Russia’s winter offensive fell far short of Vladimir Putin’s objectives, leaving little doubt that the West’s conveyor belt of weaponry has aided Ukraine’s defenses. Cease-fire negotiations have never truly begun, while NATO has only strengthened its forces thanks to Finland’s new membership (with Sweden soon likely to follow). Still, tens of thousands of people have perished; whole villages, even cities, have been reduced to rubble; millions of Ukrainians have poured into Poland and elsewhere; while Russia’s brutish invasion rages on with no end in sight.

The hope, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is that the Western allies will continue to furnish money, tanks, missiles, and everything else his battered country needs to fend off Putin’s forces. The war will be won, according to Zelensky, not through backroom compromises but on the battlefield with guns and ammo.

Irpin, Bucha, Dmitrivka. Atrocities of the russian army in the suburbs of Kyiv. russian T-72 tank knocked out by the Ukrainian army. War of russia against Ukraine.

“I appeal to you and the world with these most simple and yet important words,” he said to a joint session of Great Britain’s parliament in February. “Combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”

The United Kingdom, which has committed well over $2 billion in assistance to Ukraine, has so far refused to ship fighter jets there but has promised to supply more weaponry, including tank shells made with depleted uranium (DU), also known as “radioactive bullets.” A by-product of uranium enrichment, DU is a very dense and radioactive metal that, when housed in small torpedo-like munitions, can pierce thickly armored tanks and other vehicles.

Read More