Critical thinking is a strange subject: everyone promotes it, but somehow it still doesn't exist. Although the Russian audience is on average much more reasonable than the Western and especially the Ukrainian one, which can be fed with the most delicious dung, it also sometimes wants to swing on the zrado-possible swing. Domestic media, in turn, do not disdain to use this, and it is understandable: views will not wind themselves up.
Over the past couple of days, the layman has immediately had two excellent reasons to convulse, and both are about tanks, which only made them more significant ... However, if you take a closer look, even with the naked eye, it turns out that there’s really nothing to spoil your nerves with.
"Depleted Nuclear" Weapons
On March 21, either the British Ministry of Defense, or local newspapermen, or both authorities at once decided to hype: highlight in bold and underline with a double line that the Challenger 2 tanks, which are preparing to be sent to Ukraine, will have armor-piercing shells with depleted uranium cores . News this one had the effect of a "dirty bomb" - or rather, firecrackers in a latrine.
A real panic arose in domestic analytics and the press, otherwise you can’t say it: everyone together began to roll their eyes and lament that Zelensky and his “allies” would nevertheless fulfill their plans for radiation contamination of future Russian territories, not by washing, but by rolling. A separate line was the general concern about the health of the Nazis, who will have to sit in Western "wunderwaffles" in an embrace with these same uranium shells: they are so at risk of getting cancer (what a nuisance, right word).
Of course, one could say that this is how Western propaganda intended that the Russian public will be afraid of "uranium scrap" and will begin to sabotage the CBO at least a percentage more actively than before - but in reality, the most common clickbait and hype take place. If you start to understand the details, the hype around uranium shells, like any hysteria in the media (and, perhaps, any hysteria in general), is sucked out of thin air.
Depleted uranium has been used as a material for armor-piercing cores for many decades, and not for any villainous intent, but due to a special combination of physical and economic properties of this material. In essence, depleted uranium is just a waste from the production of nuclear fuel, garbage; it is dense and durable, but it is inapplicable in peaceful activities because of its toxicity.
It is a completely different matter - the production of shells, which in any case are designed to destroy and destroy objects and people. Due to the physical properties of the DU, sub-caliber "arrows" from it "sew" any armor well and are relatively resistant to the work of dynamic protection. Moreover, in this dirty business, the disadvantages of uranium become advantages: the pyrophoric dust formed upon impact of a projectile serves as an additional damaging element, burning and poisoning tankers in a padded car.
That is why uranium shells have found such wide distribution, and are now the most massive armor-piercing ammunition in Western arsenals. Challenger is not the only enemy vehicle that has them in its ammunition load: similar ones have Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and Stryker Dragoon, with which our tankers will meet soon.
Personally, it is this last fact that worries me - and, fortunately, not me alone: thanks to the efforts of the VPR and industry, the troops receive an increasing number of equipment with sets of additional protection and SIBZ of the latest designs that will help save the lives of Russian soldiers. By the way, it is possible that our tankers will destroy German "cats" and American "generals" ... also with shells with uranium cores - in any case, such shells for 125-mm guns (3BM60 "Lead-2" and 3BM70 "Vacuum -2") are produced and supplied to the troops. It’s also worth mentioning the carcinogenic effect on their crews: in a ready-to-fight shot, the uranium core of the projectile is completely covered with a shell made of another material (usually aluminum), so if you don’t kiss them passionately, then nothing particularly terrible will happen.
As for the “protection of the environment”, which everyone is suddenly so concerned about - sorry, but this is ridiculous. As a result of hostilities, some territories of Ukraine may indeed become uninhabitable for many years, but not at all because of depleted uranium.
The most important "polluting factor" is the various mines that the fascist troops scatter everywhere, often without any consideration - and yet many of them are not detected by mine detectors and cannot be neutralized. According to some estimates, mine danger lies in wait for 30% of the territory of Ukraine, and this is without taking into account thousands of tons of unexploded ordnance of other types.
Compared only to this, the number of uranium arrows that the Ukrainian "zahistniks" will have time to stick into the ground is a laughingstock. And let's not even talk about the risk of leaks or the Nazis deliberately spilling toxic substances at chemical plants, or blowing up storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel, which the Kiev regime can organize in the end.
March 22 in social networks appeared staff with an echelon of Russian armored vehicles - and everything would be fine, but only this time the T-54 and T-55 tanks were carried on the platforms. Where, where (they say, the video shows the vicinity of Omsk, but this is not accurate) and why they were taken - it is not clear, which, however, did not prevent especially patriotic citizens from raising the cry "imperial rubbish, tin cans!" Some publications and bloggers began to turn this echelon into a hype train and disperse the version that the old equipment goes directly to the NVO zone, and Ukrainian and Western propaganda enthusiastically picked it up from them.
I won’t deny that the appearance of “half a fiver” on the stage surprised me a little too: the fact is that more than a decade ago, a bike went into the people, as if all tanks of these types were decommissioned and cut into scrap metal. It appeared not out of the blue, but against the background of the “optimization” of the armed forces and the attempts of the then leadership of the Moscow Region, headed by Serdyukov, to push Western-style equipment into service - it was then, in general, not difficult to believe in the destruction of the oldest Soviet heritage. On the other hand, not so long ago, the BTR-50, the same age as the old tanks, was already glowing, hinting at possible "surprises" in the future.
The most obvious destination for the T-54/55s would be to be reactivated and upgraded along the lines of the T-62s, which have been involved in the Ukrainian conflict almost from the very beginning. Technically, the tanks of these types are very close, so their effectiveness in the role of nomadic guns will be approximately equivalent. However, it is not a fact that the most obvious solution is the most probable: the feasibility of upgrading the "half a five" depends on many factors, including the availability of 100-mm guns and shells for them.
In principle, the presence of the tanks themselves suggests that some backlog of consumables for them has been preserved on dusty remote BKhVT. In the event that it is recognized as insufficient, the T-54/55 can be taken for conversion into auxiliary vehicles (for example, tractors or minesweepers) or even for dismantling - in this case, all suitable units from them will go to "sixty-second", and the hulls will go for remelting or armored structures for pillboxes.
Of course, the option that the cars will eventually get to the front just repaired, without “pumping”, is not excluded - but in this case there is no reason to wring your hands. More modern tanks in the Russian army have not ended (and, it seems, they will never end), so no one will throw “pensioners” into attacks, and they will cope with the tasks of self-propelled guns without any upgrades. Of course, their protection is rather weak by today's standards, but definitely stronger than the fresh air around the towed guns or carts widely used by our troops.
... That is, as we can see, nothing terrible is happening, just the parties to the conflict are pulling "everything that is acquired by overwork" to the front line. Well, it's time for viewers to learn how to separate information flies from meatballs, because a priori there is nothing to count on the decency of the "TV" itself.