Moscow accuses UK of raising Ukraine war to a new level if it sends depleted uranium ammunition

Archive – Russian missile over Ukraine’s Donbas region – Alex Chan Tsz Yuk / Zuma Press / ContactoPhoto

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has accused the UK of raising the war in Ukraine »to a new level» if it eventually equips the Ukrainian Armed Forces with depleted uranium ammunition, among other military capabilities, as Downing Street announced the day before.

The decision, which was already criticized on Tuesday by senior Russian officials, has received on Wednesday an official response from Russia’s diplomatic portfolio, which regrets that the United Kingdom seems to have forgotten »the dire consequences of the use of such munitions» in previous conflicts such as those in Iraq or Yugoslavia.

»Such a desire to increase the suffering of the civilian population and cause irreparable damage to the environment shows that the British are willing to neglect the inhabitants of Ukraine,» the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced in a statement in which it also reproaches London for the »futility» of its commitment to the post-conflict recovery of Ukrainian cities.

»The behavior of the British side, so frank in its cynicism, once again shows who is the real aggressor and instigator of the conflict in Ukraine (…). London should not forget that it will have to bear full responsibility for it,» added the Russian Foreign Ministry, which further warns the UK that the decision »will not be without serious consequences».

British authorities said Tuesday that they will deliver depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine in a move aimed at boosting support for Kiev as it fights Russian forces in the invasion, which has been going on for more than a year. Moscow, for its part, then denounced the supply of what it considers to be nuclear weapons.

Russia’s reaction did not go unanswered by London either, and the British Ministry of Defense issued a statement accusing Moscow of »deliberately misinforming» on the matter, as depleted uranium »has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities» and its impact on people’s health or the environment is »probably low».

The announcement of the UK authorities has also not pleased activists of the British organization Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), who have condemned on Wednesday the shipment to Ukraine of this ammunition. For his part, the British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, has ruled out that there is a »nuclear escalation of the conflict» in Eastern Europe.