‘Radioactive cloud’ threatening western Europe – Russian security chief
The destruction of depleted uranium shells in Ukraine has produced a radioactive cloud which has been blown toward Western Europe, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, has claimed. The UK has supplied this type of munition to Ukraine to be fired from British-made Challenger tanks.
The senior official revealed the purported threat during a government meeting on Friday, in which he accused the US of manipulating its allies to provide “help” to other nations that results in harm being done to the recipients.
“They ‘helped’ Ukraine this way too, applied pressure to its satellites to supply depleted uranium munitions. Their destruction resulted in a radioactive cloud moving towards Western Europe. They have detected an increase in radiation in Poland,” Patrushev stated.
Unconfirmed reports have circulated in Ukraine regarding the target of a Russian strike last Saturday, which Moscow said destroyed an ammunitions depot in the city of Khmelnitsky. According to the claims, the military facility was used to store British-provided depleted uranium shells. It has been suggested that the material may have been turned into dust by powerful explosions at the depot.
Russia previously warned that the use of depleted uranium munitions poses a long-term environmental and public health threat, based on studies in nations such as Serbia and Iraq, where the weapons were previously used. London has denied such a risk.
While it is mildly radioactive, depleted uranium is mainly considered a health risk because the material is a toxic heavy metal. Particles of uranium or uranium oxide produced in an explosion could be inhaled by anyone exposed to them, or contaminate the environment.
Polish authorities have denied claims that a spike in radiation was detected in the eastern city of Lublin on Monday.
Speculation about the blast in Khmelnitsky was fueled by the reported deployment of Ukrainian military patrols that allegedly collected samples in and around the city. A nuclear power plant is located nearby, but reports claimed that patrols that normally monitor the situation around the facility were seen far away from their usual routes.