Ukraine reports to US on cluster munitions use – CNN
Ukraine has submitted its first report to Washington on its use of cluster munitions against Russia, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing sources. Russia has accused Kiev of targeting civilians with the weapons, which are banned in more than 100 countries.
According to an unnamed Ukrainian official interviewed by the network, the document sent to the Pentagon included data on the number of rounds fired and targets it claims to have destroyed. The CNN source, however, declined to provide any specific figures or other details.
US President Joe Biden in early July approved delivery of the controversial munitions to Ukraine. At the time, he described the move as a stopgap measure, as both Kiev and its Western backers were running short of regular shells. The decision, however, prompted a backlash from many US allies, including the UK, Canada, and Spain. Moscow has also condemned the move, with Russian President Vladimir Putin describing it as a potential “crime.”
The devices are widely banned because when they explode, they release a large number of bomblets across a wide area which often fail to detonate, thus posing a serious threat to civilians for years after the fighting is over.
Upon US approval of the delivery of cluster munitions, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov claimed that Kiev would abide by a set of rules. He promised that the country would not deploy the weapons in an urban environment, keep records of where they were used, and inform the US of their effects. However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has cast doubt on this claim, suggesting that the current government in Kiev is in no position to deliver on this pledge.
After receiving the controversial munitions, Ukraine has on numerous occasions used them to shell the Russian city of Donetsk, causing civilian deaths, according to local officials. In addition, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, the armaments were responsible for the death of RIA Novosti news agency correspondent Rostislav Zhuravlev in late July, with three other journalists injured in the shelling.