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Russia has used depleted uranium (DU) ammunition since the 1970s, and has already used it in Ukraine. The UK has proposed sending DU ammunition to Ukraine, because of its armour piercing capabilities, and possibly because everyone’s running low on ammunition. US Admiral John Kirby has said that if Russia is concerned, then they should get out of Ukraine.

It would be better not to use this ammunition in Ukraine. However, if Ukraine doesn’t use it to beat back Russia, then Russia may continue to shoot depleted uranium at Ukraine for another 20 years.

In a move designed to confuse and deceive the naive, Putin is now pretending that there is a relationship between the UK sending DU ammunition to Ukraine and Putin’s plan to put nuclear weapons in Belarus. That is, Putin is using the possible shipment of armour piercing DU ammunition for use by Ukrainians against Russian invaders, as an excuse for putting a nuclear arsenal in Belarus.

Half of Belarus is actually the part of Poland that Stalin stole after he cut a deal with Hitler to divide Poland. After the war, Stalin was allowed to keep half of Poland and part of Germany was given to Poland. Hopefully someone will promptly send Putin straight to hell, well before he is able to put nuclear weapons in Belarus.

As suspected, Russia has already used DU in Ukraine: “according to experts, such rounds existed in the Soviet Union, and Russian troops have already used them in Ukraine during the full-scale war…”. https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2023/03/22/7394655/
If Russia is deeply concerned about the welfare of their tanks and tank soldiers, the safest thing for them to do is move them across the border, get them out of Ukraine,” Kirby added”. https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2023/03/22/7394655/

Putin says Russia will deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus” by Kateryna Tyshchenko, Sat., 25 March 2023, 19:41 https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2023/03/25/7395088/
Putin lies and denies using DU in Ukraine, of course, while pointing out that Russia has lots of DU ammunition that it can use. And, admits that stationing nuclear weapons in Belarus had been previously discussed.

The Soviet/Russian military has used DU ammunition in tank main gun ammunition since the late 1970s, mostly for the 115 mm guns in the T-62 tank and the 125 mm guns in the T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium

While this article says tungsten or DU, another article clarifies that they are using an alloy of tungsten and DU: 20.12.2018: “The modernized T-80BVM tank got the opportunity to use armor-piercing shells of the Svinets (“Lead”) series with a depleted uranium core. “The tank’s armament stabilizer and automatic loader for 3BM59 Svinets-1 and 3BM60 Svinets-2 ammunition have been improved,” the reference book “The Russian Army in Comparison” published by the Ministry of Defense says. Armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber projectile Svinets (“Lead”) has no explosives and affects the target kinetically….
it is equipped with a core made of a material that is denser than high-grade steel: tungsten or depleted uranium – the latter is better.

Svinets ( “Lead”) is the most powerful of Russian armor-piercing projectiles, it is called “ammunition of increased power” and penetrates any modern armored vehicles. The problem of its use on Russian tanks is that the dimensions of the projectile go beyond the limits of the automatic loader and require its refinement.

A similar upgrade is planned for the T-72, T-80 and T-90…
See: “T-80 modified for uranium shells” By Антон Валагин https://web.archive.org/web/20190513085221/https://rg.ru/2018/12/20/t-80-dorabotali-pod-uranovye-snariady.htm

Putin says Russia will deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus” by Kateryna Tyshchenko – Saturday, 25 March 2023, 19:41 https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2023/03/25/7395088/

Although Russia’s got plenty of its own nuclear waste, it’s possible that DU made from German radioactive waste has been used by the Russians in Ukraine.
Greenpeace: Germany Shipping 12,000 Tons Of Radioactive Waste To Russia
October 23, 2019 22:05 GMT By RFE/RL’s Russian Service https://www.rferl.org/a/greenpeace-germany-shipping-12-000-tons-of-radioactive-waste-to-russia/30233017.html

Russia’s upgraded T-80BV tank to feature capability of firing depleted uranium shells” Military & Defense December 20, 2018, 12:29
MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. “Russia’s T-80BV main battle tank has been upgraded to feature the capability of firing depleted uranium shells, the Defense Ministry said in the bulletin ‘The Russian Army in Comparison’ published on Thursday.

The bulletin notes that the T-80BVM (the letter M stands for ‘modernized’) features “the improved weapons stabilizer and the loading mechanism for the 3BM59 Svinets-1 and 3BM60 Svinets-2 munitions.”

Open sources suggest that the Svinets-1 armor-piercing fin-stabilized sub-caliber projectile has the core made of tungsten carbide while the Svinets-2 features the uranium alloy core.

According to various data, the Svinets-1 is capable of piercing 700-740 mm of the homogeneous armor at a distance of 2 km while the Svinets-2 can pierce 800-830 mm at the same distance.

The information that one of the shells has the depleted uranium core was confirmed to TASS by military expert, Editor-in-Chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland journal Viktor Murakhovsky. “It has the alloy of the depleted uranium and tungsten,” he said, adding that the open sources mentioned it as “the Material B.”
Such munitions are stored outside of the arsenals of military units in the Russian Army and are referred to the category of special stockpiles, he added.
The armor-piercing shells with the tungsten/depleted uranium alloy are more efficient than steel due to their higher density.

The T-80BVM is a further upgrade of the T-80BV tank. The armored vehicle is furnished with the Sosna-U multi-channel gunner sight, the improved 125mm gun 2A46M-4, the upgraded gas turbine engine and the Relikt explosive-reactive armor.

As the Defense Ministry’s press office reported, T-80BMV tanks have started to arrive for the Russian Army this year.” https://web.archive.org/web/20190422202706/https://tass.com/defense/1036958

Uranium Fever: Russia’s Plot to Arm Its Tanks with Depleted Uranium Shells: There are several international organizations campaigning to ban these shells. Whether the Russian government will heed them is another matter”. by Michael Peck May 6, 2021 https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/uranium-fever-russias-plot-arm-its-tanks-depleted-uranium-shells-184407

T-80BVM (2017): Features “Relikt” ERA, Irtysh fire control, Sosna-U gunner’s sight (as on T-90A), an improved 125mm gun 2A46M-5, 9K119M Refleks-M missile system, upgraded gas turbine engine and upgrades of various other systems.

The tank also has a new autoloader capable of firing the depleted uranium 3BM59 APFSDS shell and the tungsten 3BM60.[68][69][70]

The Russian armed forces have received all the modernized T-80BVM tanks under the contract with the Rostec corporation, signed in 2017, Rostec said on 12 December 2019. A new contract for 50 tanks was signed in August 2020 and a new one in August 2022.[71][72] As of September 2022 deliveries were underway.[73]
68. “Танк Т-80 модернизируют “Реликтом” и “Сосной-У” 14 July 2016. Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20161115072153/https://rg.ru/2016/07/14/reg-sibfo/tank-t-80-moderniziruiut-reliktom-i -sosnoj-u.html) from the original on 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
69. “The Russian Defense Ministry will buy the latest T-90M tanks — Rambler News Service” (https://web.archive.org/web/20170826235937/http://wordnews.us/articles/the-russian-30934). Wordnews. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
70. “Russia’s upgraded T-80BV tank to feature capability of firing depleted uranium shells” Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20181222173436/http://tass.com/defense/1036958) from the original on 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2018-12-22.
71. “ЦАМТО / Новости / Минобороны России и Ростех подписали на «Армии-2020» соглашения на сумму более 300 млрд. рублей” (https://armstrade.org/includes/periodics/n ews/2020/0826/094559332/detail.shtml). armstrade.org.
72. “ЦАМТО / Главное / На форуме «Армия-2022» подписаны 7 и вручены 29 госконтрактов с 26 предприятиями ОПК” (https://armstrade.org/includes/periodics/mainne ws/2022/0817/084269022/detail.shtml).
73. “Военные досрочно получили партию “реактивных” танков Т-80″ военное. рф (in Russian). 30 September 2022. Retrieved 2023-02-07
. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-80

It’s unclear if these are the older ones or modernized ones.
Russia’s own airborne forces brought hundreds of T-80BVs to Ukraine, and have abandoned nearly 80 of them. The Ukrainians meanwhile have lost around 40 T-80BVs of their own, for a net gain of 40 turbine tanks.” See: “Ukrainian Paratroopers Prefer Their Speedy T-80BV Tanks” By David Axe Forbes Staff Jan 19, 2023,04:06pm EST https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2023/01/19/ukrainian-paratroopers-prefer-their-speedy-t-80bv-tanks/

SCIENCE OR SCIENCE FICTION? Facts, Myths and Propaganda In the Debate Over Depleted Uranium Weapons” By Dan Fahey March 12, 2003 https://www.wise-uranium.org/pdf/dumyths.pdf

Radioecological survey at selected sites hit by depleted uranium ammunitions during the 1999 Kosovo conflicthttps://www.osti.gov/etdeweb/biblio/20220684

Iraq: Dutch Concerned About Depleted Uranium Ammo As Troops Deploy
August 08, 2003 00:00 GMT By Ron Synovitz https://www.rferl.org/a/1104009.html

Germany: Defense Minister Says No Evidence Uranium Weapons Cause Illness
January 09, 2001 00:00 GMT By Roland Eggleston https://www.rferl.org/a/1095474.html


The toxic legacy of the Ukraine warhttps://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230221-the-toxic-legacy-of-the-ukraine-war

Bellona encouraged Russia to convert DUHF into DU: “Since the beginning of the nuclear industry’s development, more than 2 million tons of DUHF have accumulated throughout the world, including 1 million in Russia… Independent revelations about large volumes of DUHF coming into Russia and the ensuing Bellona-led discussion within the public council of Rosatom, have prompted the company to develop a program for the safe handling of the substance, which aims to eliminate DUHF reserves by 2057. By processing the remainder of re-enriched DUHF, we obtain chemically safe depleted uranium oxide and hydrogen fluoride, which can be used in industry.…https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2020-08-the-adventures-of-depleted-uranium-hexafluoride-in-russia


On June 18, 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued environmental impact statements for the construction and operation of facilities to convert depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) to depleted uranium (DU) oxide at DOE’s Paducah Site (Paducah) in Kentucky and Portsmouth Site (Portsmouth) in Ohio…“ (DOE/EIS-0360-S1: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Disposition of Depleted Uranium Oxide Conversion Product Generated from DOE’s Inventory of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride SUMMARY, April 2020 , U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management Washington, D.C. https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/04/f73/final-eis-0359-s1-and-eis-0360-s1-duf6-2020-1-summary_0.pdf )

More info:

Depleted uranium (DU) and Russian ammunition