- MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) - NATO's air strikes on Yugoslavia have environmental
impacts on Europe, said Major General Boris Alekseyev, the Russian army's
environmental safety department chief.
- He said at a press conference on Thursday
that the air strikes have "far-going ecologic concequences".
- NATO is doing "deliberate destruction
of chemically dangerous facilities" in Yugoslavia, in particular of
ammonia and polymer productions.
- Struck, these productions emit clouds
of high-toxic substances that travel great distances. The most dangerous
components of polymer production are phosgene and hydrocyanic acid.
- Ignition of polymer materials releases
"enormous amounts" of dioxins and furans, Alekseyev said. Registered
dioxin concentrations in the air amount to "five by ten in the minus
tenth degree of a milligramme per litre of the air", he said. Dioxins
accummulate in the human body, Alekseyev said.
- He said NATO air power's destroying of
Yugoslavia's refineries and setting them to fire are associated with the
release of large amounts of hydrocarbons, the most dangerous of which is
benzopyrene. Benzopyrene-contaminated smoke clouds drift as far borders
of Romania, Bulgaria and less often the Czech Republic. Alekseyev said
another cause for concern was that "Americans have found in the territory
of Yugoslavia their convenient method for disposal of decommissioned munitions".
- He explained that NATO planes fairly
extensively use shells with depleted uranium.
- "In fact, this is waste of nuclear
production. These munitions are manufactured in Great Britain under the
American license," Alekseyev said.
- The anti-armour shells with uranium cores
are used against tanks and concrete installations. When hitting metal or
concrete, the uranium core generates heat which causes partial evaporation
of the core with production of uranium oxides. Part of uranium is converted
to an aerosol that can spread over large areas.
- The US' using the shells with depleted
uranium in operation Desert Storm in Iraq has left 20-25 percent of the
American and British personnel involved in it with diseases and abnormalities
at the genetic level, Alekseyev said.
- NATO's raids are contaminating Yugoslavia
and adjacent European states with dioxins, benzopyrene and uranium, he
- "I think that in a year, a situation
will occur in this region where the Americans will start talking that foods
grown in southern Europe are not good for use," he said.
- He said "there is a real danger"
of contamination of the Black Sea. NATO's bombing causes leaks of oil products
from Yugoslavia's storages. The oil products run off with ground waters
to the Danube river which drains into the Black Sea.
- Alekseyev said "a 14 kilometre-long
oil sleek with a high content of oil products is moving at a speed of five
kipometres an hour" down the Danube these days and is close to the
- Getting into ground waters, oil products
dissolve and convert to aromatic hydrocarbons that are bound to spread
to the Black Sea, whose contamination after NATO's strikes on Yugoslavia
"already has been confirmed", the military environmentalist said.