Krivolak, June 2019, from the drill “Decisive Strike 19”. Photo: mod.gov.mk
The claim that military drills with depleted uranium ammunition – which is carcinogenic – are taking place in the Krivolak military training range has not been confirmed and is not substantiated. This is an intentional speculation, aiming to project a conspiracy theory thereby creating public apprehension. The Ministry of Defense denies the use of depleted uranium at the Krivolak range, specifying that the quality of the air is measured before, during and after the drills, proving that the army activities do not cause environmental pollution. The MoD decidedly says that the training and drills with NATO Allies and partners at the Krivolak range are not dangerous in any way for the public health
THERE IS A CANCER EPIDEMIC IN THE COUNTRY!
KRIVOLAK IS IN THE CENTRE OF MACEDONIA; THIS IS AN INTENTIONAL KILLING OF THE MACEDONIANS!
NATO OUT OF MACEDONIA!
YOU HAVE OCCUPIED US AND NOW DESTROYING US TO THE END!
NATO OUT OF MACEDONIA!, specifies the post we are fact-checking.
Arbitrarily, without offering any shred of evidence and facts, the post claims that Macedonia has a cancer epidemic caused by depleted uranium that, allegedly, the Americans “drop” during the military drills at Krivolak. The post is not supported by any confirmation from relevant institutions about the use of depleted uranium at Krivolak, nor does it offer a statement from a medical expert that would prove the alleged cancer epidemic caused by depleted uranium.
It is in fact old disinformation that appeared on social networks for the first time back in August 2018, one month after North Macedonia received an invitation for NATO membership.
Some of the media at the time speculated and were spreading panic in the public by claiming that the Americans, allegedly, used depleted uranium – which caused cancer – at the Krivolak range.
The then Defense Minister, Radmila Shekerinska denied that depleted uranium was ever used at Krivolak and that it will ever be used.
The Ministry of Defense warrants that neither current, nor future trainings or drills of our NATO partners at the Krivolak range are posing any danger to the health of citizens, nor will they ever use depleted uranium bombs. Such lies are aimed at boosting distrust in NATO among the public and are being employed as part of a negative campaign for the upcoming referendum. People should be calm, Macedonia’s NATO membership brings uniquely greater safety and security for our country, said representatives from the Cabinet of Shekerinska (August 2018 ).
Now, after this information once again became current and viral on social networks, Truthmeter requested a comment from the Ministry of Defense. The Ministry decidedly says that the claim is false information.
This is disinformation. Not only depleted uranium is not used during the drills at Krivolak, but the Ministry of Defense is taking utmost care that during the drills there is no any environmental pollution caused. To stop the dissemination of such disinformation, in the last few years, the Ministry of Defense has established the practice of monitoring the biggest drill activities of the Army of North Macedonia. In collaboration with the University Laboratory AMBIKON of the Goce Delchev University in Shtip, in the last five years, environmental impact assessments of military drills is conducted. The quality of the air is measured before, during, and after the drills, thereby assuring that army activities do not cause pollution of the environment. Neither current nor the future training and drills with the Allies and the partners of NATO at the Krivolak range impose a threat to the health of the citizens whatsoever. Monitoring the quality of ambience air in the wider zone of the Krivolak range will continue in the future, the Ministry of Defense responded.
Chemical weapons were banned with the UN Convention on the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons from 1997, ratified by North Macedonia that same year.
From all of the above noted, the conclusion is that the claim that depleted uranium – which is carcinogenic – is used at the Krivolak range during the drills is not validated and is unsubstantiated by facts. The speculation is intentional, as to project a conspiracy theory and create unreasonable public apprehension. The Ministry of Defense denies that depleted uranium is used at Krivolak. The Ministry further elaborates that air quality is measured before, during, and after the drills, proving that army activities do not pollute the environment. The MoD is precise in stating that neither the current nor the future training activities and drills with NATO allies and partners at the Krivolak range are dangerous in any way for public health.
Therefore, the fact-checked post is assessed as untrue.