Ukraine believes that cluster bombs can save lives and offset potential risks

the Ukrainians welcome the US decision to supply them with cluster munitions whereas weakening Russian resistance in the current counter-offensive and saving the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians outweigh the potential risks.

The overwhelming danger to the Ukrainians comes from the Russian attacks both on the front lines and against areas further afield, such as in the rocket attack that claimed ten lives in Lviv on the 6th, as well as its actions in the occupied territories, commentators on Ukrainian media and social networks broadly agree.

The main idea is that the sooner and more effectively the invasion is repelledthe lesser the loss of life among both civilians and soldiers, hundreds of thousands of whom put on military uniform for the first time after being drafted or volunteering to fight.

cluster munitions I’m just a shape to help achieve this, as Ukraine also urgently needs long-range ATACMS missiles, Oleksi Melnik, a military expert at the Razumkov Center think tank, told EFE.


A cluster bomb defused from an MSLR missile, amongst a display of rocket parts used by the Russian military. Reuters photo

compensations

Although cluster munitions can be dangerous with around 2% of them failing to detonate and pose long-term risksthe risks decrease in importance compared to other weapons used in Ukraine, with up to 30% of the projectiles failing to explode in some cases, the expert explained.

“Meanwhile, cluster munitions are a very efficient tool that could compensate, at least in part, for Russia’s air superiority”.Melnik stressed.

As Ukraine tries to attack well-prepared Russian defenses to liberate its occupied territories, it is with artillery shells with which it tries to compensate for its very limited ability to support the counter-offensive from the air, in the absence of modern fighter planes.

Faced with the inability of Ukraine and its partners to rapidly ramp up artillery shell production to meet the demands of its military, the supply of stocked cluster munitions will counterat least in part, the shortage of ammunition, explained Melnik.

A Ukrainian soldier looks past a captured Russian TOS-1A Solntsepyok heavy rocket launcher from the Ukrainian army battalion "Da Vinci.  AP Photo
A Ukrainian soldier looks over a captured Russian TOS-1A Solntsepyok heavy rocket launcher from the Ukrainian army’s ‘Da Vinci’ battalion. AP Photo

According to former soldier and expert Yevgen Dikyi, cluster munitions will be especially useful target armored vehicleswhich Russia usually sends forward to recover lost positions whenever attacking Ukrainian troops manage to break through the first line of defense.

“While several shells are currently needed to hit a moving target like this, the use of cluster munitions, which cover a much larger area splitting into about 10 smaller bombs, it will make everything much easier,” he stressed in statements on Ukrainian television Channel 24.

“extravagant”

Military analyst Mikola Bielieskov called the arguments of those who oppose the delivery of cluster munitions to Ukraine “absurd”.

In your opinion, without them, Ukraine’s chances of success would be lessas well as the likelihood of enforcing the “truly basic” principles of the UN Charter, which have been threatened by the Russian invasion.

Ukraine ordered cluster munitions as early as December and all the pros and cons of their possible use have been “duly weighed up,” Bielieskov stressed.

“Don’t question the ability of the Ukrainian government to do this make a sensible judgement and your legitimacy to ask what you see fit for self-defense,” he wrote on Twitter.

Bielieskov, along with other commentators, thus dismissed fears expressed by, among others, Human Rights Watch and representatives of governments such as Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, that the use of cluster munitions it would pose too high a risk to Ukrainian civilians.

Several commentators have also noted Russia’s well-documented use of cluster munitions during the invasion, particularly in the shelling of residential areas in Kharkiv and Mikolayiv.

Since both Ukraine and Russia are not signatories to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits its useLeaving Ukraine without cluster munitions would only make it less able to protect itself, say Bielieskov and other experts.

Also on the 7th the Ukrainian defense minister, Oleksi Reznikov, assured that Ukraine it will not use cluster munitions in urban areasbut it would only use it to break through Russian defenses and liberate its own occupied territories, and not to attack Russian territory.

EFE agency

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