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US plans to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, officials say – Reuters

US plans to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, officials say – Reuters

The US plans to send cluster munitions to Ukraine to help it battle Russian invaders, anonymous US officials told Reuters on 6 July. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch (HRW) campaigns against the supplies despite the fact that Russia has been actively using this type of munitions since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

Two US officials told Reuters that a US military aid package including cluster shells for 155mm howitzers is expected to be announced on 7 July.

The  White House didn’t announce the supplies but said providing Ukraine with cluster munitions was “under active consideration.”

Meanwhile, in an article published on 6 July, HRW accused both Ukraine and Russia of using cluster munitions, called on both to stop using them, and urged the US not to supply them to Ukraine. The HRW’s article starts with allegations that Ukraine had used cluster munition to attack then-occupied Izium in 2022 and allegedly killed multiple civilians.

Previously, Human Rights Watch put out allegations that the Ukrainian army ostensibly used PFM-1 anti-personnel mines near the same Izium in Kharkiv Oblast. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry denied these allegations, while Ukrainian human rights activists criticized the HRW for such allegations. Moreover, in their report on the alleged usage of banned mines, HRW used a map of Ukraine without Crimea shown as its part.

Reuters says that for sending cluster munitions to Ukraine, US President Joe Biden Biden would need to sign a waiver, “one of the people said, similar to one that was signed for exporting cluster munitions technology to South Korea in 2021.”

According to Reuters sources, the aid package worth “well above $500 million” will also include HIMARS munitions, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and Stryker armored personnel carriers.

Banned by more than 120 countries but not Ukraine, Russia, and the US, the cluster munitions are designed to detonate and scatter numerous smaller munitions or bomblets across wide areas, resulting in significantly broader devastation than individual rounds.

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