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(April 26) - Following recent suspected use of cluster munitions by Ukraine, the U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition reiterates its condemnation of the use of cluster munitions by any party. Cluster munitions are among the most harmful weapons to civilians, as they are designed to disperse across a wide area and often fail to explode on initial use, littering communities with deadly results years after a conflict ends.
Ukraine’s stockpile of cluster munitions are inherited from the former Soviet Union. The Landmine Monitor has confirmed the use of cluster munitions by both the Ukrainian Military and Russian-backed armed opposition groups in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in 2014 and 2015–despite the government of Ukraine’s repeated denials.
Cluster munitions have also been used by Russia at least two dozen times in Ukraine, since its invasion in February of 2022 according to the United Nations.
We join the International Campaign To Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition in strongly condemning the use of cluster munitions by all parties in the war in Ukraine and call for the immediate end to the use of these banned weapons.
These weapons are banned under an international agreement, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, to which 110 countries are states parties. Unfortunately, neither the United States, Ukraine nor Russia is party to this treaty. The failure of the United States to join the international agreement banning cluster munitions weakens the impact of United States’ criticism about Russia’s use of these weapons. It also weakens any critique by the United States of Ukraine’s use in the same way.
We reiterate our call on the United States to demand the immediate halt to all use of cluster munitions and to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The time for the United States government to act is now.