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News > U.S.

Biden to Announce Shipment of Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

  • A cluster bomb containing dozens of grenades.

    A cluster bomb containing dozens of grenades. | Photo: Twitter/ @thejournal_ie

Published 7 July 2023

Many of cluster boms fail to detonate, creating a long-term security problem for civilians.

U.S. President Joe Biden, has approved the supply of controversial cluster bombs from the Pentagon's arsenals to Ukraine and is set to make an official announcement on Friday.


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The decision, which circumvents the existing legal prohibition on the production, use, and supply of these types of weapons, comes after human rights defenders urged the Biden administration not to supply cluster bombs.

The move comes at a time when Ukrainians are experiencing a decrease in their stockpiles of conventional artillery ammunition supplied by the West. Concerns are also growing about the slow Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian troops.

"The 'human rights activists' are launching an aggressive lobbying campaign... not to expel Russia from the United Nations but to undermine the supply of weapons to Ukraine," said Mikhailo Podoliak, an advisor to the Ukrainian Presidency.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary Jens Stoltenberg stated that "it is up to individual allies to make decisions about the delivery of weapons and military supplies to Ukraine, and it will be up to governments to decide, not NATO as an Alliance."

Cluster bombs explode in the air above a target, releasing dozens of smaller explosives over a wide area, many of which fail to detonate, creating a long-term security problem for the civilian population.

"In previous conflicts, cluster munitions have had a high dud rate, which meant that thousands of the smaller unexploded bomblets remained behind and killed and maimed people decades later," outlet Aljazeera recalled.

"The United States last used its cluster munitions in Iraq in 2003, and decided not to continue using them as the conflict shifted to more urban environments with denser civilian populations," it added.


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