On Monday, British Minister of State for Defense, Annabel Goldie, said that the U.K. would provide depleted uranium armor-piercing rounds for the Challenger 2 battle tanks it plans to send to Ukraine. The depleted uranium rounds are “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles,” Goldie said in trying to justify the decision. The move would represent a significant escalation in the war.
While the British downplay any nuclear risks related to this irresponsible move, injecting this type of material into a country that has already suffered the devastating effects of the Chernobyl disaster is the height of irresponsibility. Depleted uranium shells punch a hole through the target upon impact, while uranium burns itself into tiny particles that spread out in the atmosphere. Inhaled or ingested, they can enter human bodies, causing disastrous damage due to radiation exposure and heavy metals.
Depleted Uranium (DU) has 60 percent of the radioactivity of natural uranium and is considered very dangerous. The United States used depleted uranium ammunition in former Yugoslavia and in the Iraq War. That decision inflicted serious long-term damage on the populations of those countries. A British Medical Journal study found that “The available evidence suggests possible associations between exposure to depleted uranium and adverse health outcomes among the Iraqi population.”
Through this reckless decision, the British have increased the likelihood of a nuclear conflict. During a joint press conference with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters, “Russia will have to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West is already beginning to use weapons that have a nuclear component.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a harsh response condemning the move. “We regard the statement made by British Minister of State for Defense Annabel Goldie about the U.K. government’s plans to send armor-piercing depleted uranium rounds for the Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine as yet another proof of London’s intention to take the lead in the anti-Russia campaign…. London has apparently forgotten about the well-known serious consequences of the use of toxic and radioactive munitions by the West during the conflicts in Yugoslavia and Iraq,” the statement reads. “A desire to increase the suffering of civilians and to do irreparable environmental damage shows that the British have no regard whatsoever for the Ukrainian people. This openly cynical British policy has once again shown who the real aggressor and warmonger in Ukraine is. London must know that it will bear full responsibility for violating the fundamental norms of international law…. We will respond to such actions accordingly.”
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also condemned the move, stating that “NATO dropped 15 tons of depleted uranium bombs on Yugoslavia causing death and agony to linger for generations after the war. In Serbia after 1999, many children suffered from tumors and 366 participating NATO Italian military personnel died of cancer.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby brushed off concerns about the U.K.’s escalation of the conflict, stating “Depleted Uranium Is ‘Commonplace Munition.’ If Russia Is Worried About Their Tanks, Move Them Out Of Ukraine.”
This led Russia’s Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, to declare, “Commenting on this kind of nonsense is really hard. U.S. officials have reached a new low with their irresponsible statements. There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, and kindergartens. It seems that the enlightened West, led by Washington, has irrevocably decided to bring humanity to a dangerous line, beyond which a nuclear Armageddon is looming ever more distinctly.”
Please Follow us on Gab, Minds, Telegram, Rumble, Gab TV, GETTR, Truth Social
In an effort to expand and overhaul its navy, Australia has signed a deal with the U.S. to purchase 5 Virginia-class nuclear submarines beginning in the next decade. Both U.S. and European officials have disclosed the deal as part of a landmark defense agreement between the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. in an effort to counter China.
The agreement is central to the newly formed AUKUS partnership. The sub deal is expected to be announced on Monday when President Joe Biden meets with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego.
At the time of the partnership's formation 18 months ago, Biden said, "We all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term," adding that "We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve."
The Virginia-class submarines cost $3 billion each and will be built in Virginia and Connecticut. Some sources, however, have said that the subs will be built in the UK and Australia using U.S. technology and assistance.
Get gains in the gym in style with AFP Merch!
While the AUKUS partnership has many defense components, one of the most critical is the development of Australia's nuclear submarine capability.
While Western leaders have been careful never to call out China directly, it's clear that the AUKUS partnership is aimed at countering China's influence in the Indo-Pacific. Meanwhile, Beijing has accused Australia of violating prior commitments to provide nuclear weapons or technology to its military.
Please Follow us on Gab, Minds, Telegram, Rumble, Gab TV, GETTR, Truth Social
In his remarks on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Western countries must "help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones and that's why the United Kingdom will be the first country to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons."
According to Sunak, the UK government is working with its NATO allies to "give Ukraine the most advanced air defence systems and build the air force they need to defend their nation."
"[The United Kingdom] is ready to help any country to provide Ukraine planes they need today, but we must also train Ukrainian pilots to use advanced jets," he added.
Sunak's escalation comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concern that China is considering moving from "providing rhetorical, political, diplomatic support to Russia" to "providing lethal support to Russia." Should that happen, Blinken has warned that it would have "serious consequences" for Chinese-American relations.
Over the past year, the UK has provided almost £4 billion in aid to Ukraine, with £2.3 billion of that given in the form of military aid that included weapons, ammunition, and other military gear and equipment.
After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Ukraine earlier this month, the UK parliament began considering sending fighter jets and long-range missiles to Kyiv.
The two types of long-range missiles being considered are the 150-mile range Harppon high-explosive, which is an anti-ship missile, and the 350-mile range Storm Shadow cruise missile. Kyiv has said that if it receives the missiles, they will be used to expand the war by launching an assault on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine back in 2014.
It is also possible that the British long-range missiles could be used to target Russian territory, which could easily escalate the conflict from a localized war to a full-scale global conflict.
Sunak has also suggested that NATO add a "new charter" in its agreement in order to "help protect Ukraine from future Russian aggression."
When Zelensky visited London earlier this month, he and Sunak signed the London Declaration, in which Britain recommitted to its stance of supporting Ukraine's admission to NATO, which Russia has cited as a cause for the invasion, saying that having NATO expand to its doorstep is a "red line."
Despite, threats from the Kremlin, the declaration states, "[t]he UK has continued to lead the way in support for Ukraine to defend itself, including anti-tank weapons and tanks. Our military support to Ukraine is enduring. UK support will continue to contribute across all three domains; Land, Air, Sea."
The UK was not the only country calling for additional aid for Ukraine at the Munich conference. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that the world should prepare for a "long war" and called for Germany's Western allies to continue to supply Ukraine with more weaponry, tanks, and ammunition.
Despite French President Emmanuel Macron initially being a proponent of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, he announced in Munich that now is "not the time for dialogue." Hopes for a peaceful resolution were further diminished when Zelensky stated that he would not accept any peace agreement if it required territorial concessions to Russia, which is likely to be seen as a non-starter for Moscow.
he strength of the UK Armed Forces dropped by 3.3% between 1 October 2021 and 1 October 2022, according to the latest recruitment and retention figures released by the UK Government, with just 5,090 people joining the regular forces, a 29.8% decrease registered during the reporting period.
Releasing the quarterly service personnel statistics on 15 December, the UK Government revealed that the total strength of UK forces personnel stood at 192,300 as of 1 October 2022. This marked a 6,640 decrease in service personnel compared to the same point last year.
Further decreases were registered in the full-time trained strength of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force (RAF), and the full-time trade trained strength of the British Army on 1 October 2022, with the figure standing at 134,940, a decrease of 2,190 (1.6%) from 1 October 2021...
To read more visit Army Technology.
According to an article published in the Royal Navy’s official magazine, the Globe and Laurel, Lieutenant General Robert Magowan confirmed that 350 marines were deployed to Ukraine for two separate missions since January – the first prior to the invasion and the second in April.
The first mission was to evacuate British diplomatic staff across the border to Poland prior to the invasion. The second mission occurred in April after Russian troops withdrew from the area around Kyiv. According to the article, Magowan said, “In April, they returned into the country to re-establish the diplomatic mission, providing protection to critical personnel.” Magowan added, “During both phases, the commandos supported other discreet operations in a hugely sensitive environment and with a high level of political and military risk.”
While the UK Defense Ministry had previously confirmed that soldiers were sent to protect diplomats at the embassy, Magowan’s commentary provided the most detail that has been released since the missions occurred. Although Magowan did not specify what the “other” missions were, he is the first British official to confirm that special operations had taken place in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
When the Royal Navy was questioned about Magowan’s remarks, a spokesperson only said that Marines were “deployed to Ukraine to support the UK’s diplomatic presence” and said that “they served no combat function.”
The Marine unit deployed for both missions was the 45 Commando unit which it is now known allegedly specializes in “Arctic warfare,” according to the Times, and had previously taken part in the Falklands conflict and the U.S. invasion of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the time of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, troops from 45 Commando were in Norway conducting winter military exercises when they were called in to assist with evacuations from Ukraine to Poland of embassy staff and diplomats.
Magowan also confirmed that Royal Marines had previously trained Ukrainian troops in other countries adding that the Marines have been “heavily involved” in the training and that they are now planning to train “Ukraine marines.”
While British military trainers were pulled out of Ukraine earlier this year to avoid conflicts after Russian forces invaded Ukraine, special forces have since resumed training efforts.