11:59 08 Jul 2023

Ukraine vows to adhere to fundamental principles when utilizing cluster munitions – Defense Minister Reznikov

Ukraine's Defense MInister Oleksii Reznikov. Photo: Rubryka

While using cluster munitions provided for in the new military aid package of the United States of America, Ukraine's armed forces will adhere to five basic principles, including but not limited to strict accounting of munition.

The Minister of Defense, Oleksii Reznikov, reported that on Twitter.

As the minister noted, Ukraine has an international right to self-defense, in connection with which it officially requested to provide cluster munitions a long time ago.

At the same time, Ukraine will continue adhering to all international humanitarian conventions that were previously signed and ratified.

Reznikov emphasized that the Russian Federation has been using cluster munitions against civilians since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine. In particular, the enemy used them to attack Kharkiv during February and March 2022.

"Our position is simple – we must liberate our temporarily occupied territories and save the lives of our people. We must inflict losses on the enemy – war criminals, rapists, and looters who occupied our territories. The more losses we inflict on them, the more Ukrainian lives we will be able to save," Reznikov writes.

The military leadership of Ukraine has five fundamental principles that it will follow when using cluster munitions and which have been communicated to the country's allies. Including:

  • Ukraine will use these munitions only for the de-occupation of internationally recognized territories of Ukraine. Ammunition will not use them on the territory of Russia;
  • ammunition will not be used in urban areas to avoid risks to civilians. At the same time, Ukraine's armed forces will strike with them at places of concentration of the Russian military;
  • projectiles will be used to break through the enemy's defense line with minimal risk to our soldiers;
  • Ukraine will keep strict records of the use of these weapons and the local areas where they will be used;
  • territories, where cluster munitions will be used after the de-occupation and victory of Ukraine, will become a priority for demining.

"This will allow us to eliminate the risk from unexploded elements of cluster munitions. By law, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine performs the duties of the head of the national demining agency. In this position, I will ensure the implementation of the appropriate legal framework for the demining process after our victory," the minister noted.

Ukraine will report to partners on using these munitions and their effectiveness. This will help ensure an appropriate standard of transparent reporting and control.

For reference:

It should be noted that the US allocated a new defense aid package to Ukraine. In particular, they confirmed the provision of cluster munitions to Ukraine.

Later, the Pentagon revealed the details of a new $800 million package of military aid to Ukraine.

The new package of US military aid includes so-called advanced dual-purpose conventional munitions (cluster munitions).

The day before, the representative of the Pentagon, Pat Ryder, said that the cluster munitions would not be transferred from old stocks. And the failure rate should not exceed 2.35%.

In an interview with CNN, the head of the White House, Joe Biden, admitted that Ukraine needs cluster munitions for defense. The decision of the United States of America to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions was "difficult," but Kyiv needed the munitions for a counteroffensive against the Russian Federation.

It should be noted that the previous $500 million package included ammunition for the Patriot, HIMARS systems, 30 Bradley fighting vehicles, and other weapons.

However, as the Ukrainian Ambassador to the USA, Oksana Markarova, noted, if the Russian occupiers are worried about the use of the projectiles mentioned above by Ukrainian soldiers, they can leave the territory of Ukraine.


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