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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

White House Accuses Ukraine of Deploying US Cluster Munitions on the Battlefield

A senior Washington defence official has said that the controversial cluster bombs given by the United States are being deployed “effectively” by Ukrainian troops in the counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion.

Kirby said, “They are using them appropriately, and they are using them effectively,” adding that more information might be gained from Ukraine.

Kirby said that Russian defensive formations and manoeuvrability had been affected by the US-supplied cluster bombs, which are banned in more than 120 nations.

The Washington Post newspaper stated on Thursday that, citing an unnamed Ukrainian source, cluster bombs are being used by Kyiv’s military against “well-fortified Russian positions that have slowed Ukraine’s summer offensive.”

The Washington Post reports that the Russians have “densely mined with antitank and antipersonnel mines and trip wires in areas” between 4.8km and 16km deep (three to 10 miles) in order to impede the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east and south.

According to a Ukrainian military officer quoted in the publication, cluster bombs are being deployed to “break up” Russian positions.

Cluster bombs, which pose long-term hazards to civilians and have been outlawed in many nations, have drawn widespread condemnation for their supply and use by the United States and Ukraine on the battlefield.

This month, Human Rights Watch reported that Russia “extensively used cluster munitions, causing many civilian deaths and serious injuries,” while in 2022, at least eight civilians were killed and fifteen more were injured in rocket attacks from Ukraine using cluster munitions on the then-Russian-occupied city of Izyum.

A human rights organisation has called for an end to the use of “indiscriminate weapons” like those that have been used to murder civilians by both Kyiv and Moscow.

Cluster weapons detonate a huge number of tiny bomblets at once, each of which may cause widespread, indiscriminate death over a vast region; even the bomblets that do not detonate constitute a threat for decades.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated his troops would utilise cluster bombs when it was confirmed that the United States was giving the illegal weapons to Ukraine, however military analysts think the Kremlin has already used such munitions in its battle against Ukraine.

Each side has accused the other of employing cluster bombs already, despite Ukraine’s promise that they would only be used to clear clusters of Russian enemy forces.

More than 120 nations have signed on to a convention prohibiting the use of cluster bombs; although their usage itself does not violate international law, their use against people may be. The nations that signed the treaty have committed to eliminating all stockpiles and eliminating all use, production, transfer, and storage of these weapons.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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