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9 Jul, 2023 17:06

‘Go to hell,’ Ukraine tells anti-cluster bomb German MP

Critics of the controversial weapons have “no idea” what they’re talking about, Andrey Melnik has declared
‘Go to hell,’ Ukraine tells anti-cluster bomb German MP

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Melnik has told a German lawmaker to “go to hell” for opposing the delivery of cluster munitions to Kiev’s forces. Melnik formerly served as ambassador to Germany, where he made a name for himself by publicly insulting his hosts.

“The use of ‘cluster munitions’ is rightly outlawed internationally,” German MP Ralf Stenger tweeted on Friday, adding that those who “act in the name of international order and values ​​do not supply such weapons, not even in Ukraine.” Stenger is a member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ SPD party.

US President Joe Biden authorized the delivery of cluster munitions to Ukraine on Friday, despite his administration referring to their use as a potential “war crime” last year. Explaining his decision, Biden cited a shortage in conventional ammunition due to Ukraine’s high consumption rate throughout its ongoing counteroffensive.

Biden’s shift in policy was criticized by some of America’s NATO allies, including Canada, Spain, and the UK.

Melnik reacted angrily to Stenger’s tweet. “Go to hell with your advice, Mr. Ralph Stegner and others,” the Ukrainian diplomat tweeted on Saturday. “You have no idea what you're talking about. Have you ever been to war in Ukraine for 500 days? Did you feel the suffering of the people? If not, then stay seated on your Biedermeier sofa.”

Melnik served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany from 2015 until last October, when he was recalled to Kiev after he publicly professed his admiration for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator considered a hero by Ukrainian nationalists. 

Before his dismissal, Melnik repeatedly accused the German government of being too slow to provide military assistance, and referred to Chancellor Scholz as an “offended liver sausage” over his reluctance to visit Kiev. Melnik also sparred with Elon Musk on Twitter, telling the billionaire to “f**k off” over his plan for a peaceful settlement of the conflict with Russia.

Melnik was appointed as Ukraine’s envoy to Brazil last month, but has yet to take up his new post.

Cluster munitions scatter small ‘bomblets’ over a wide area, some of which fail to immediately explode and pose severe risks to civilians for years after fighting ends. More than 110 countries have ratified a 2008 UN convention prohibiting their use and transfer, although the US, Russia, and Ukraine are not parties to the ban.