US confirms Ukraine’s ‘effective’ use of cluster bombs against Russian forces

A Russian bomb was dropped on Kharkiv at the start of the war.  Reuters/File
A Russian bomb was dropped on Kharkiv at the start of the war. Reuters/File

The United States has confirmed that Ukraine is ‘effectively’ using US-supplied cluster bombs against Russian forces in the region.

The deployment of these munitions has sparked controversy as more than 100 countries have banned them because of the potential danger to civilians.

National security spokesman John Kirby commented, “We’ve had some preliminary feedback from the Ukrainians, and they’re using them quite effectively. The cluster weapons are having an impact on Russian defensive structures and maneuvers.”

He insisted that Ukraine has pledged to use cluster bombs to remove concentrations of Russian enemy troops.

“They’re using them appropriately,” Mr. Kirby said. “They’re using them effectively and they’re really having an impact on Russian defensive structures and Russian defensive manoeuvres. I think I can leave it there.”

The decision to supply cluster bombs was made in response to Ukraine’s plea for ammunition support during the summer counteroffensive by the US. President Joe Biden acknowledged the difficulty of the decision, while some US allies including the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Spain expressed their opposition to their use.

Cluster bombs, which consist of many small bombs that are dispersed over an area, have the potential to cause significant harm to civilians, which is why they are banned by many countries. However, Ukrainian General Oleksandr Sirsky defended their use, saying they were necessary to “inflict maximum damage to enemy infantry” and to accelerate their efforts on the ground.

In the midst of the conflict, Russia has also taken aggressive actions against Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, further worsening the situation. At least 27 civilians were injured in the air raids on the ports and buildings, including the Chinese Consulate in Odessa, were heavily damaged.

The increase in the Black Sea has resulted in increased global grain prices, affecting vulnerable populations, particularly in the global South. Moscow’s decision to withdraw from a UN-brokered deal has fueled further tensions, with Russia issuing warnings to ships sailing towards Ukrainian waters and Kiev responding with similar measures.

Despite controversy surrounding their use, Ukraine has committed to using cluster bombs against Russian forces to deter an invasion. The ongoing conflict continues to have far-reaching humanitarian consequences, and the international community is closely monitoring the situation.

The deployment of cluster munitions by Ukraine, although seen by some as effective, raises serious concerns about the impact on civilians and the potential for further escalation in the region. As the conflict continues, there is an increasing need for a diplomatic solution to prevent further loss of innocent lives.

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