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Fatal Dust: U-238

Unveiling the human cost of depleted uranium used by US Army

Twenty-five years ago, the skies over Yugoslavia were ripped apart by relentless NATO bombing, scattering waves of contaminated dust infused with depleted uranium, a component found in armour-piercing munitions. However, it was the local civilians who suffered the brunt of the devastation, facing increased cancer-related deaths due to the toxic heavy metal.

“Bombs were raining down on Vranje. They were bombing non-stop. But not with conventional bombs! Instead of classical weapons, they used depleted uranium bombs,” recalls Gradimir, a survivor of NATO’s bombing in Serbia, his life forever marked by the scars of that tragic event.

For over three decades, the US Army has utilized depleted uranium shells in various conflicts, leaving behind a trail of devastation similar to that witnessed in Yugoslavia. The tragedy resounded tragically in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, where Mouaid, among others, suffered unimaginable losses. “I’m one of the victims of the Americans. My eye is damaged. I also have traumas on my body, legs, and my back after the violent bombings. My brother and my niece died,” shares Mouaid.

Even in Italy, protests emerged from families of Italian soldiers who suffered as part of the ‘peacekeeping mission’ upon their return from Kosovo. Investigative journalists Jacopo Brogi and Alessandro Fanetti shed light on the concealed dangers of depleted uranium munitions, and the toll it exacted on soldiers deployed in conflict zones.

From the streets of Serbia to cemeteries in Iraq and Rome, this film serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of warfare and the pressing demand for accountability.