JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukrainians are begging for cluster munitions to stop the Russians” – Washington Post

File Image of DCIPM artillery shell artist's rendition, adapted from image at army.mil

“… [T]here’s a weapon that could do a great deal to help Kyiv stave off future attacks [] and … be provided in large amounts at short notice: cluster munitions. … a controversial move with real risks. … More than 100 countries have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions … ban[ning] … stockpiling or use. The weapons … consist of a single munition … break[ing] into dozens of smaller bomblets over a target, … highly indiscriminate and especially dangerous to civilians. The United States, with one exception, hasn’t used them since 2003. … [T]he bomblets sometimes don’t explode on impact, littering the battlefields with potentially lethal material long after the fighting is over. … Critics also argue that supplying the munitions will undermine the West’s moral authority … [W]e’ve … criticized Russia for using these same weapons. … For [Ukrainians], this is a life-or-death situation. Ukrainian officials have said that the weapons would only be used against Russian troops and tanks. … [and] that the areas in Eastern Ukraine that would be targeted are already largely depopulated. … [T]hey argue[] [that] it’s their territory, which they will have to clean up after the war anyway — if they live that long. …”

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