According to a senior military official, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have received cluster munitions from the United States as part of the support given to Kiev in retaliation against the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian army commander Oleksandr Tarnavsky said in an interview CNN While they have received cluster bombs, they have not yet been used on the battlefield. He believes that these war materials could have a significant impact on the current conflict.
The United States decided last week to deliver cluster bombs to Ukraine, despite concerns about the long-term risk to civilians. Tarnavsky stressed that the Ukrainian military would not deploy these weapons in densely populated areas. He explained that the Russians have a misconception that Ukraine intends to use them across the front, which he says is incorrect.
US President Joe Biden acknowledged that the decision to provide cluster munitions was challenging, but stressed that Ukraine needed additional ammunition to replenish its depleted stockpile.
It is important to note that cluster munitions are controversial due to their ability to spread many small explosive charges that may remain on the ground without detonating, posing a risk to civilians even after a conflict has ended.
Many countries, especially Europe, have banned these weapons under the 2008 Oslo Convention. However, it is noteworthy that Russia, the US and Ukraine are not signatories to this convention.
The Kremlin has expressed that it will take “retaliatory measures” if Ukraine deploys these cluster weapons against its troops. The situation remains tense as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues.