US officials on Thursday said Washington plans to provide Ukraine with cluster weapons to help it in its war against Russia – which is banned by more than 120 countries.
An arms aid package that includes cluster munitions fired from 155-millimetre howitzers is expected to be announced by today (Friday), three US officials said on condition of anonymity.
Responding to the report, a senior Ukrainian official said on Friday that Kiev would welcome receiving cluster weapons from the US because they would have an “extraordinary psycho-emotional effect” on Russian forces. reuters informed of.
Such a move is opposed by human rights groups, but it could provide a powerful new element to retaliate against Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.
“Undoubtedly, the transfer of additional quantities of shells to Ukraine is a very important contribution to the acceleration of the disengagement processes,” said Mykhailo Podolyak, political adviser to the president. reuters,
“Especially if we are talking about cluster munitions, which undoubtedly are capable of having an extraordinary psycho-emotional effect on the already discouraged Russian occupier groups.”
He added that the drop in combat capability and morale of Russian troops is “an important factor that can be provided by this type of projectile”.
Podolyak said Ukraine needed more shells and ammunition and was grateful to its allies for “understanding the harsh realities of war”.
The White House said Thursday that sending cluster weapons to Ukraine was “actively under consideration” but did not have an announcement to make.
Human Rights Watch has called on Russia and Ukraine to stop using cluster munitions and urged the US not to supply them. The group said that both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used weapons that have killed Ukrainian civilians.
Munitions banned by more than 120 countries typically release large numbers of small bombs that can kill indiscriminately over a wide area.