Disinfo: Depleted uranium rounds are 'dirty' nuclear bombs


[The depleted uranium round] does not emit radiation, but is highly toxic. Its dust can enter the human respiratory tract. Russia has warned that if weapons containing depleted uranium are used in Ukraine, it will consider them a 'dirty' nuclear bomb.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation fearmongering about nuclear weapons. This is a part of a wider disinformation campaign, the ultimate goal of which is to present Ukraine as a threat and therefore justify Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion.

This claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

On the 6th March 2023, the UK Government confirmed that:

"Alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition, including armour piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium. Such rounds are highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armoured vehicles".

Depleted uranium shells are not considered to be nuclear weapons.

"They are not meant to poison people. They are used because of their capability to pierce armour," says Dr Marina Miron, from Kings College London. See also this article from the BBC in which Former British Army tank commander - and chemical weapons expert - Col Hamish de Breton-Gordon states that "depleted uranium rounds used by Challenger 2 tanks contained only trace elements of depleted uranium. He added it was "laughable" to suggest depleted uranium rounds were in any way linked to nuclear weapons, which uses enriched uranium".

Depleted uranium has a higher density than ordinary steel; about 2,5 times and about 1,5 times more dense than lead. This allows a tank shell to gain more momentum and penetrate armour more effectively.

In 2007, the UN General Assembly launched a study to find out the health effects of depleted uranium weapons. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) found no significant poisoning was caused by exposure to depleted uranium.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as claims Radioactive substances brought to Ukraine could be used to make a "dirty bomb", that Western tanks given to Ukraine could deliver nuclear warheads, that Kyiv passed from rejecting nuclear weapons to preparing a dirty bomb and that Ukraine is going to use a dirty bomb to accuse Russia of using tactical nuclear weapons.

Speaking about nuclear risks it would be much more relevant to address the Russian occupation and handling of nuclear power stations in Ukraine, such as the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station where the IAEA has raised concerns about the safety. See more details here.


  • Reported in: Issue 330
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/03/2023
  • Article language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: UK, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Nuclear issues, War in Ukraine, Invasion of Ukraine
This disinformation claim was broadcast on the date mentioned above. Due to the EU decisions  to temporarily restrict the spread and dissemination of RT, Sputnik and other instruments used to manipulate information and promote disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine inside the EU, access to the link may not work inside the EU.
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Disinfo: Rounds with depleted uranium are dirty bombs

Rounds with depleted uranium are like dirty bombs. Their aim is radioactive contamination of a territory. Russian land – the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson Regions – will be affected.


This is a new disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets, capitalising on fears of fissile material and trying to accuse the West of providing Ukraine with nuclear arms. This claim was made in the context of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

In reality, rounds using depleted uranium are not nuclear weapons or dirty bombs. The radioactivity level of depleted uranium is negligible. It carries minimal health effects. Under international agreements, munitions containing this isotope are considered neither nuclear nor chemical weapons. See here for further debunking by The Insider (in Russian).

Disinfo: Romania is preparing its annexation of Ukraine

Under the guise of "reunification with Moldova" Romania is preparing the annexation of Ukraine.

NATO members, the countries of Eastern Europe, realising the inevitability of the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nurturing their own imperial ambitions, began to openly share the Ukrainian pie.

The nationalist forces of Romania believe that now is the right moment to "return" to themselves not only Southern Bessarabia, but also Northern Bukovina, which under the USSR became part of Moldova, and part of Ukraine.


A recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Ukrainian territories by non-Russian neighbours.

The aim with this disinformation appears to be deflecting attention away from Russia's responsibility for its imperialist policy and war of agression against Ukraine - pretending that "everybody has appetite on Ukraine".

Disinfo: Romania no longer wants to be in NATO

Romania no longer wants to be in NATO. It does not want the “defensive” alliance to drag Romania into an aggressive war, which NATO is waging in Ukraine.


Recurring anti-NATO rhetoric mixed with the pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the war in Ukraine is instigated by NATO, aiming to elicit fear that NATO will involve Romania in the war against Russia.

No evidence is given. On the contrary, a very recent opinion survey showed that 80% of Romanians don’t want Romania to exit from NATO. Romania joined NATO in March 2004.