Ukraine: Cluster bombs and munitions pose long-term risks to civilian safety |

Cluster bombs are weapons designed to be spread over large areas, containing hundreds of “small bombs” known as submunitions. As they are regardless of civilians, civilian property and military targetsBombs violate the rules of international humanitarian law.

Bombs and cluster munitions are not only dangerous in the short termbut pose a serious long-term risk to the local community.

It is reported that up to 40% of cluster munitions do not explode on impact, allowing continuous explosion for decades and prolonged interruptions. Of the 149 new cluster munitions casualties in 2021, all were caused by cluster munitions remnants, indicating the longevity of their impact.

Ukraine died

The report revealed that since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, Russian forces have “constantly” used cluster munitions.

Ukrainian forces are said to have used cluster bombs and munitions several times, the group said, mostly in populated areas.

Specifically, the deployment of cluster bombs and munitions in Ukraine has 215 civilians killed and 474 wounded. The report also indicates that the number of victims increased by 302%, since 2020.

Jeff Meer, US Executive Director for Humanity & Inclusion, which deals with cluster munitions in Ukraine, notes that “they also damage healthcare facilities, factories and homes”.

International approach

Cluster munitions watchdog 2022 also assesses the implementation Oslo Convention. Since 2010, the Convention has banned the use, production, transfer and possession of cluster munitions.

Monitoring indicates that since the entry into force of the convention, 35 States Parties have destroyed 1.5 million stockpiles of cluster munitions, including 178 million bombs and submunitions. This represents 99 percent of all cluster munitions declared by Member States.

The use of new cluster munitions has been isolated to the war in Ukraine. Reflecting on this, Mr. Meer concluded: “The warring parties must immediately stop using all cluster munitions that have killed or wounded hundreds of civilians in Ukraine this year. States must put pressure on countries that use cluster munitions to stop.”

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