Vladimir Putin today vowed to respond to British plans to send ammunition containing depleted uranium to Ukraine as Moscow warned the risk of a ‘nuclear collision’ was increasing.

The Russian despot raged against Britain’s decision to provide Kyiv’s troops with Challenger 2 battle tanks and depleted uranium ammunition, arguing it marked a step towards using weapons with a ‘nuclear component’.

Tank shells containing the radioactive material are more dense, enhancing their capability to penetrate thick layers of armour. 

But depleted uranium can cause serious radiation damage if it enters the body – for example through shrapnel or inhalation from explosions – and is linked to increased instances of cancer and other illnesses in warzones. 

Speaking after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Russian capital, Putin said he will be ‘forced to react’ if the UK goes ahead with its delivery of 14 next-generation battle tanks. 

‘The United Kingdom announced not only the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but also shells with depleted uranium,’ Putin seethed. 

‘If this happens, Russia will be forced to respond accordingly, given that the West collectively is already beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component. It looks like the West indeed intends to fight Russia until the last Ukrainian,’ added.