Following the United Kingdom, the United States will transfer depleted uranium shells to Ukraine as part of the next $175m military aid package, Breaking Defense reports. The publication notes that the White House decision is likely to be widely criticized, given the potential harm to civilians.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has officially announced the transfer of depleted uranium shells to Ukraine in a new $175 million aid package, Breaking Defense reports.

The next package will include 120-millimeter shells for Abrams tanks with depleted uranium cores. However, “for “operational security reasons,” the Pentagon did not disclose how much ammunition it was talking about. “The number of shells provided will significantly improve the effectiveness of the M1 Abrams tanks that will be delivered to Ukraine in the coming weeks,” the U.S. defense official said, noting that Kiev will receive the depleted uranium shells around the same time as the tanks.

Thirty-one Abrams tanks are expected to be delivered to Ukraine as early as fall. At the moment, about 200 Ukrainian soldiers are learning how to operate, maintain and repair the tanks at the U.S. Grafenwoehr training range in Germany.

According to Breaking Defense, the White House’s decision to transfer depleted uranium shells to Kiev will attract a lot of criticism. Opponents of the use of such shells warn that toxic smoke and weapon residue could harm civilians and military personnel on both sides. When the projectiles hit their target, depleted uranium burns at high temperatures, producing radioactive fine dust. In addition, projectiles that fail to hit their target gradually degrade and release toxins into the soil and groundwater.

Earlier, the UK sent depleted uranium shells for Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.

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