We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File photo of a cluster bomb. PA

Cluster munitions from US arrive in Ukraine

Senior military officials from the two countries have confirmed the delivery of the controversial weapon.

UKRAINE’S ARMED FORCES have received cluster munitions promised by the United States to help boost Kyiv’s slow-moving counteroffensive.

Senior military officials from the two countries have confirmed the delivery, which has sparked some controversy internationally.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said yesterday that remains opposed to cluster munitions, pointing out that it was a leader  in the establishment of a global 2008 convention banning the weapons.

When asked about the issue, Martin outlined how the cluster munitions convention was adopted in Dublin in 2008 and said that he remembers convincing nations to sign up to it. 

“It was an outstanding diplomatic achievement by Ireland to have so many countries, over 120, I think signed eventually,” he said.

“I remember working with Gordon Brown at the time to get the UK’s agreement to sign up to the banning of cluster munitions and I recall very well meeting many civilians from countries all over, Asia in particular: amputees, people with severe injuries as a result of cluster munitions that are left in the aftermath of battle, the aftermath of war, in children’s playgrounds and so on.

“So, we’re opposed to the use of cluster munitions on the battlefield, that is Ireland’s position, that hasn’t changed, and that will remain our position.”

He said the possibility that they might be transported through Shannon would not “arise”, saying any such flight would not to seek permission to come through Ireland.

Russia, the United States and Ukraine did not sign up to the convention banning the use of the weapons. 

Ukrainian army commander Oleksandr Tarnavskyi told US broadcaster CNN: “We just got them, we haven’t used them yet, but they can radically change [the battlefield].” 

The United States last week said it would deliver cluster munitions to Ukraine to aid its battle against invading Russian forces, despite concerns over the long-term risk posed to civilians by bomblets that fail to explode.

“The enemy also understands that with getting this ammunition, we will have an advantage,” Tarnavskyi said, adding that Ukrainian forces would not deploy the weapon in heavily populated areas.

US Lieutenant General Douglas Sims later confirmed the news, saying the “cluster munitions are in Ukraine.”

Asked about the slower-than-expected pace of advance in Ukraine’s counteroffensive, he told journalists that “this is hard warfare, it’s in really tough terrain, it’s under fire”.

“When you consider all that, it’s pretty remarkable.”

US President Joe Biden said the decision to provide cluster munitions was “very difficult” but stressed that Ukraine needed extra ammunition to refill its depleted stocks.

A bid to block the shipments of cluster munitions to Ukraine in the US House of Congress last night was defeated by 276 votes to 147.

The Kremlin has said it will take “countermeasures” if the weapon is deployed by Ukraine against its troops. 

© AFP 2023

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel