US cluster munitions delivered to Ukrainian army

Global conflicts herald 'dangerous decade': military think-tank
Source: Unsplash

Ukrainian armed forces have received cluster munitions pledged by the United States to Kyiv to boost its slow-moving counter-offensive against the Russian invasion, said a senior army official on Thursday.

“We just got them, we haven’t used them yet, but they can radically change (the battlefield),” Ukrainian army commander Oleksandr Tarnavskyi told US broadcaster CNN in an interview.

The US said last week that it would deliver cluster bombs to Ukraine, despite concerns over the long-term risk posed to civilians.

“The enemy also understands that with getting this ammunition, we will have an advantage,” General Tarnavskyi said.

He told CNN that Ukrainian forces would not deploy the weapon in heavily populated areas.

“The Russians think that we will use it on all areas of the front… This is very wrong,” he said.

US President Joe Biden said the decision was “very difficult” but stressed Ukraine needed extra ammunition to refill its depleted stocks.

The controversial weapons can disperse up to several hundred small explosive charges, which can remain unexploded in the ground, creating a risk for civilians after a conflict is over.

They are banned by numerous countries – notably in Europe – who are signatories to a 2008 Oslo Convention, to which neither Russia, the US nor Ukraine are parties.

The Kremlin has said it will take “countermeasures” if the weapon is deployed by Ukraine against its troops.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter