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Russia warns of 'consequences' if Ukraine deploys uranium tank-busting rounds

Radioactive ammunition linked to cancer in Gulf War

Published: January 26, 2023 12:32pm

Updated: January 26, 2023 12:41pm

Russia this week warned of potentially dire consequences if Ukraine is found to have been using controversial uranium-bolstered armor-piercing ammunition in the conflict between the two countries. 

Konstantin Gavrilov, the head of Russia's delegation on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's forum on security cooperation, issued a stern warning on Wednesday to Ukrainian forces that might consider using the "Silver Bullet" to combat Russian tanks. 

The use of depleted uranium to make armor-piercing bullets goes back decades and was used during the Gulf War. It is alleged to be linked to some cases of leukemia following that conflict. 

Gavrilov during his talk "warn[ed] Western sponsors of the Kyiv military machine from encouraging nuclear provocations and blackmail."

"We know that the Leopard 2 tank, as well as the Bradley and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, are armed with uranium-core armor-piercing projectiles, the use of which leads to contamination of the area, as happened in Yugoslavia and Iraq," he said.

"If Kyiv is supplied with such shells for NATO heavy military equipment, we will consider this as the use of dirty nuclear bombs against Russia with all the ensuing consequences," he continued. 

It has not been confirmed that Ukrainian tanks are deploying the controversial munitions in the present conflict.

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