U.S. sends more health hazards to Ukraine’s army
U.S. sends more health hazards to Ukraine’s army
The United States has announced new aid for Ukraine totaling more than $1 billion, which includes, for the first time, controversial depleted uranium ammunition. 

TEHRAN (Iran News) –The United States has announced new aid for Ukraine totaling more than $1 billion, which includes, for the first time, controversial depleted uranium ammunition.

Exposure to depleted uranium in the conflict will be a serious health risk for years and decades to come; it will affect Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in areas where the ammunition is going to be used.
Russian soldiers will potentially be affected as well.

Depleted uranium, which has been used by the U.S. military in warzones before, including its invasion of Iraq, has been linked to a range of health problems, including a sharp rise in cancer cases and severe birth defects.

The munitions also cause respiratory problems, kidney damage, neurological symptoms, skin problems, and gastrointestinal problems.

Critics have accused the U.S. – not for the first time – of brushing aside health concerns for Ukraine’s armed forces and civilian population.

Washington appears to be resorting to desperate arms supplies to Ukraine, amid the failure of the Ukrainian army to recapture lost land in their counter-offensive.

The much-hyped, strongly built-up, and long-awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive has entered its fourth month now.

Amid all the money, weapons and training the U.S. and its NATO allies spent on the counter-offensive, the military mission has hit a brick wall with Russian defenses strongly entrenched on the frontlines.

That has triggered anger and frustration from U.S. politicians and presidential candidates.

The announcement of the depleted uranium ammunition for Abram tanks coincided with the top U.S. diplomat Antony Blinken’s arrival in Kyiv on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

“I discussed longer-term sustainable security arrangements, which will provide ongoing security assistance and modern military equipment across land, air, sea and cyberspace, as well as training and intelligence sharing,” Blinken declared.

Russia’s embassy in Washington has said the U.S. decision to deliver depleted uranium ammunition for Abram’s tank rounds “is a clear sign of inhumanity”.

The M1 Abrams tanks are expected to be shipped to Ukraine before the end of 2023.

“Washington, obsessed with the idea of inflicting a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia, is ready to fight not only to the last Ukrainian but to put a cross on the future generations,” the Russian embassy said in a post on social media.
The controversial ammunition will form part of a new military aid package for Kyiv, which includes a broad range of weapons for Kyiv that will be drawn from U.S. stocks.

“The U.S. is deliberately transferring weapons with indiscriminate effects,” Russia’s embassy said.

“It is fully aware of the consequences: explosions of such munitions result in the formation of a moving radioactive cloud.”

The embassy also said that in supplying the munitions, the U.S. was “deeply indifferent to both the present of Ukraine and the future of the republic and its European neighbors”.

“The Russian army will continue to methodically grind the weaponry sent” to Ukraine, it warned.

In July, American-made cluster munitions arrived in Ukraine despite international condemnation and widespread opposition by human rights organizations who criticized the American move.

According to the Cluster Munition Monitor, at least 149 civilians were killed or injured worldwide by the weapon in 2021.

The bombs are banned in more than 120 countries.

The munitions were also seen by the Pentagon as a way to get Kyiv vitally needed ammunition to help boost its offensives and push through Russian frontlines amid the stalled counter-offensives.

At the time, even U.S. officials debated the thorny matter for months before President Joe Biden made the final decision.

The bomblets are designed to detonate on hitting the ground, and anyone in that area is very likely to be killed or seriously injured. Beyond the initial damage caused by the munitions upon impact, many bomblets fail to detonate immediately.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, up to 40% of bomblets have failed to explode in some recent wars.

As a result, cluster bombs pose a risk to civilians long after their use as the unexploded ordinance can kill and maim people years or even decades after the munitions were fired.

Israel has been roundly condemned for using the weapons in the wars it has waged against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Pentagon has also revealed that the latest military aid to Kyiv includes anti-armor systems, tactical air navigation systems and additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

It takes the total U.S. assistance to Ukraine to more than $43 billion dollars.

Blinken has assured President Volodymyr Zelensky of the U.S. support to provide long-term assistance for Ukraine.

But many in Europe are paying the price of the conflict with a growing number of anti-war protests emerging across the continent.

The latest was held in the capital of Bulgaria.

Protesters held a rally while carrying flags and other banners reading messages such as “In Bulgaria they are born to live in peace”, “Bulgaria zone of peace”, and “Referendum for peace and sovereignty”.

On Wednesday, the day marking the Bulgarian Unification Day, the protesters gathered in Sofia to join the “March of Peace” demonstration against Bulgarian intervention in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“Unfortunately, we are ruled by people for whom we are not valuable. Our lives are not valuable. Don’t be fooled at all that they think about us,” said Tsveteslava Galabova, a participant in the rally.
In July 2023, the Bulgarian government announced a large one-time military aid package to support Ukraine amid the U.S.-led NATO war against Russia.

This marked Bulgaria’s first official decision to support Kyiv since the conflict began.

Nako Stefanov, an activist, said, “Step by step, they continue to push Bulgaria on the path of war. Now we are handing over our armored personnel carriers, and all other things are kept secret.”

Nako Stefanov, another activist, told the crowd, “We are against the dismantling of the Monument to the Soviet Army. This monument was erected not only in honor of the Soviet Army but also in honor of those Bulgarians who participated in the first and second phases of the war against Hitler.”

Some protesters were seen holding placards reading “No American bases and military in Bulgaria”.
One flag read “North Atlantic terrorist organization”.

Activist Emil Simeonov noted, “The more we come together, the more we will make the rulers in the future start to consider us.”

Many of the anti-Ukraine war demonstrations in Europe have taken their anger at their own governments for failing to work on a peace solution.

  • source : Tehrantimes