Following Britain’s Lead, Controversial Munitions Aim to Aid Kyiv’s Push Against Russian Forces

In a move echoing Britain’s earlier decision, the United States recently confirmed its plans to dispatch depleted uranium anti-tank rounds to Ukraine. These munitions, intended to bolster Kyiv’s counteroffensive efforts against Russian forces, will equip the 31 M1A1 Abrams tanks scheduled for delivery in the coming fall.

Depleted uranium rounds, a legacy of the Cold War era, were initially designed by the United States to neutralize Soviet tanks, including the T-72 models, the same tanks the Ukrainian forces are now facing in their counteroffensive efforts. While retaining some radioactive properties, they lack the capacity to trigger a nuclear reaction akin to a nuclear weapon, clarified RAND Corp nuclear expert Edward Geist.

Russia’s previous unfounded assertions, claiming these rounds bear nuclear components, have prompted concerns about potential escalations. President Vladimir Putin has, in the past, hinted at the possibility of using atomic weapons in the conflict.