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Ukrainians ask Zelensky not to use depleted uranium shells — petition

So far, 28 people have voted in favor of the petition
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky
© AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. A petition asking that the Ukrainian armed forces be barred from using depleted uranium ammunition has been registered on the website of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Its author points to the danger of years-long environmental pollution, ruining arable land and poisoning people with toxic substances.

The author of the petition is concerned about the environmental pollution caused by using the depleted uranium shells. "The use of such munitions is a crime against humanity and the planet. Their use is unacceptable and immoral. I demand this petition be considered and a positive decision be made on it. I also demand precautionary measures be taken to exclude the possibility of the Ukrainian armed forces using such ammunition until the petition is considered," the document said.

The author also pointed out that using this ammunition "is not worth harming humanity so that the military can use uranium and other radioactive elements." The petition also said that the use of depleted uranium shells "leads to contamination of the environment not only in the zone where they are used, but it can also spread uncontrollably through groundwater, movement of dust and other microparticles." "Taking into account the decay period of heavy metals, such contamination will be long-term and will affect future generations. The contamination of the land may also involve agricultural land, which will either make it completely unusable or be another way of spreading toxic substances by way of human consumption," the author of the petition pointed out.

So far, 28 people have voted in favor of the petition. It has to receive 25,000 votes to be considered by Zelensky. The Ukrainians will be able to vote on it for another 92 days.

British Parliamentary Secretary of State Baroness Annabel Goldie said in a written response to a question by a member of the House of Lords last week that the United Kingdom would supply Ukraine with shells containing depleted uranium, which are more effective in destroying armored vehicles. The British Defense Ministry described depleted uranium as a standard component of armor-piercing munitions that had been in use for decades, and pointed out that Moscow’s reaction to their delivery to Ukraine was a deliberate attempt to confuse everyone.

Commenting on the decision of British authorities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country would have to respond in kind to the fact that the "West is beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component." The Russian Embassy in the UK warned London against shipping depleted uranium shells to Kiev. The Embassy underscored that this step may cause an escalation of the conflict, and use of such shells in Ukraine would affect the health of the local population.