“We have a lot of such ammunition, with depleted uranium, and if they [the Armed Forces of Ukraine] use them, we also reserve the right to use the same ammunition,” Putin said as cited by state news agency TASS.
He added during a meeting with war correspondents that Russia has a lot of ammunition with depleted uranium, but so far they were not being used.
Putin’s statement comes after a report by the Wall Street Journal reported that US President Joe Biden’s administration is predicted to supply Ukraine with depleted-uranium rounds to arm the Abrams tanks being provided by the US. The Pentagon has advocated for the use of these rounds, which are frequently utilized by the US Army and are notably potent against Russian tanks.
Depleted uranium (DU) is denser than lead, making it an effective material for anti-tank projectiles. DU rounds, often used in Abrams tanks, are known for their high penetrative capacity and are capable of breaching the armor of tanks, even at significant distances. When a DU round strikes its target, it ignites upon impact, piercing the armor and causing a secondary explosion inside the target, thereby destroying it.
Russia's armored vehicles, such as the T-14 Armata tank, have been reported to feature advanced composite armor and active protection systems designed to mitigate the threat posed by anti-tank weapons, including those that use depleted uranium.