The United States made an announcement today regarding the provision of widely-banned cluster munitions to Ukraine.
Ukraine hailed this decision, stating that it would have an “extraordinary psycho-emotional impact” on the occupying Russian forces.
Cluster munitions are banned by over 100 countries due to their indiscriminate nature, releasing multiple smaller bomblets.
According U.S. officials, Ukraine has provided written assurances of the responsible and careful use of these munitions to minimize risks to civilians.
While human rights groups oppose the US decision, the provision of cluster munitions could bolster Ukraine’s counteroffensive in reclaiming territories seized by Russian forces since the invasion in February 2022.
Russia has been known to use cluster munitions in Ukraine, especially in the early months of the invasion.
Ukraine has specifically requested cluster munitions to target Russian positions with entrenched troops. Previously, Ukraine had urged members of the US Congress to press the Biden administration for approval in providing these munitions.
Under a 2009 law, the export of U.S. cluster munitions with bomblet failure rates higher than 1% is illegal. This means the majority of the cluster munitions in the US military stockpile.
However, the President has the authority to waive these restrictions.