UK Supplies Carcinogenic Depleted Uranium Shells to Ukraine

TIKRIT, IRAQ: A row of US Army 25mm rounds of depleted uranium ammunition, 11 February 2004, at the base of Charlie Company, 1-22 Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, in Tikrit, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad. The soldiers were taking inventory of the ammunition as they being to pack to leave for home in the US. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite studies post war in Iraq and Yugoslavia showing cancers, birth defects, children’s tumours, kidney damage and neuro-cognitive disorders, despite the decision of the Royal Navy in 2001 to phase out depleted uranium weapons and proof of WHO censorship of the dangers of DU, the UK has decided to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium shells.

Throughout the 20 year attack on Russia by the West, the 8 year war against Ukrainian Russians and the present war in Ukraine the United Kingdom’s politicians and military have been the most extreme and fanatical warmongers. I am ashamed to say that my country has now added to this fanaticism by supplying the notoriously dangerous Depleted Uranium shells to be used in the Challenger tanks supplied to Ukraine. Even the US Pentagon has said it would not be supplying such shells – having notoriously used them in Iraq and Yugoslavia.

Although these are not “nuclear weapons” they could be classed as extremely “dirty weapons” which produce a uranium dust, poisoning not only those attacked by them (Russian tanks and military vehicles) but also civilians in the vicinity and the land itself (long after the end of the conflict). As Dr Rudolf Haensel reports: “Due to the long degradation process of radioactivity and toxicity, waste from the uranium and nuclear industries – mainly DU from isotope 238 – are stored in secure landfills for a very long time. To reduce the high cost, DU is therefore gladly given free of charge to interested parties such as the military.”

A 2022 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report said depleted uranium was an environmental concern in Ukraine.

“Depleted uranium and toxic substances in common explosives can cause skin irritation, kidney failure and increase the risks of cancer,”

Although DU is only mildly radioactive it is 1.7 times denser than lead, so it is used to harden shells so that they can penetrate armour and steel. On striking a tank’s armour, it goes straight through it and then erupts in a burning cloud of vapour which settles as dust, which is poisonous.

The Australian doctor, nuclear weapons specialist Helen Caldicott writes in her book “The New Nuclear Danger” (2002):

“Numerous military reports have acknowledged that uranium-238 can cause kidney damage, lung and bone cancer, (non-malignant) lung disease, skin diseases, neuro-cognitive disorders, chromosome damage and birth defects.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said sending depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine would mean the UK was

 “ready to violate international humanitarian law as in 1999 in Yugoslavia. There is no doubt this will end badly for London”

Studies in Yugoslavia after the NATO illegal war against that country have shown long term health damage. No wonder since as the UN acknowledges:

Depleted uranium can cause localized sediment and soil contamination and can affect a range of both aquatic and terrestrial species. Lawrence et al. (2015 p.451) state “In mammals, uranium toxicity can be highly detrimental to development, brain chemistry, behaviour, and kidney function”. The level of toxicity largely depends on the amount ingested, but it is especially dangerous to the liver. The chemical toxicity of depleted uranium is considered a more significant issue than the possible impacts of its radioactivity (UNEP 2007b; Briner 2010). 

Yugoslavia Poisoned

Twenty-three years ago on March 24, the US-led NATO launched a 78-day continuous bombardment against Yugoslavia without the approval of the UN Security Council. 

NATO dropped nearly 420,000 bombs totaling 22,000 tons, including 15 tons of depleted uranium bombs, which directly killed more than 2,500 people, including 79 children, and caused more than 1 million refugees.

Estimates in 2016 by the Serbian Association for the Prevention of Cancer showed that the use of uranium weapons had caused 15,000 cancers and 10,000 deaths between 2001 and 2010, according to the head of the association and oncologist Prof. Slobodan Cikaric. In total, there were 330,000 cancers in Serbia during this period. The death rate increased between 1999 and 2016 by 2.5 percent per annum. 

A study by the Serbian emergency centre showed that children born in the country after 1999 had multiple cortical tumours at the age of 1 to 5 years old, malignant hematological diseases at the age of 5 to 9 years old, and the brain tumour rates rise sharply between ages 9 and 18.

A Yugoslav military pathologist has linked the cancer-related deaths of about 400 Bosnian Serbs near Sarajevo to 1994 bombardments by NATO using weapons containing depleted uranium. In addition, as of May 2019, 366 Italian soldiers who participated in NATO military operations had died of cancer, and 7,500 suffered from illness.

Royal Navy Phased Out Depleted Uranium

In 2001 Britain’s Royal Navy announced it would phase out the use of DU artillery ammunition by 2003 because, as a Ministry of defence spokesman said

“The US manufacturers have decided not to manufacture depleted uranium rounds anymore…..”

Who Censored Carcinogenic Effect of Du

A World Health Organization paper (2001) on the risks to health from munitions that use depleted uranium was called into question by a member of the editorial team that produced the report. Keith Baverstock, who worked as a WHO radiation expert, claimed that research indicating a carcinogenic effect was deliberately suppressed.

Dr Baverstock said that he tried to submit research from the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute of the US Department of Defense that found evidence of genotoxicity from depleted uranium particles in the body. But Mike Repacholi, the WHO scientist who oversaw the production of the 2001 report, Health Effects of Depleted Uranium, refused to include any mention of the research in the final report.

But even the WHO’s own report from 2001 said:

in some instances the levels of contamination in food and ground water could rise after some years and should be monitored and appropriate measures taken where there is a reasonable possibility of significant quantities of depleted uranium entering the food chain.

Young children could receive greater depleted uranium exposure when playing within a conflict zone because of hand-to-mouth activity that could result in high depleted uranium ingestion from contaminated soil.

and with supreme hypocrisy given the WHO censorship:

Gaps in knowledge exist and further research is recommended in key areas that would allow better health risk assessments to be made”

Iraq Study:

British and US forces fired about 320 tonnes of depleted uranium munitions in the 1991 Gulf war and may have used up to 2000 tonnes in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Jawad al-Ali of the Basra Cancer Treatment Centre reported at the annual conference of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons that the local cancer registry reported an incidence of 11 cancers per 100 000 people in 1988, rising to 75 in 1998 and 116 in 2001

During 2004, the US military carried out two massive military sieges of the city of Fallujah, using large quantities of DU ammunition, as well as white phosphorous.

A frequently cited epidemiological study titled Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009 involved a door-to-door survey of more than 700 Fallujah households.

The research team interviewed Fallujans about abnormally high rates of cancer and birth defects. One of the authors of the study, Chemist Chris Busby, said that the Fallujah health crisis represented “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied”

No half informed, half sentient democratic politician in the “Mother of Parliaments” would in the light of the above information supply depleted uranium weapons to Ukraine but then such British people are not stoking the war in Ukraine – hysterical madmen are.