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Ukraine Welcomes Potential US Cluster Munitions Aid, Expects “Psycho-Emotional Impact” on Russian Forces

Ukraine Welcomes Potential US Cluster Munitions Aid

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A senior Ukrainian official expressed Ukraine’s enthusiasm for receiving cluster munitions from the United States, citing their potential to have an “extraordinary psycho-emotional impact” on Russian forces. The official made these remarks on Friday, highlighting the significance of such weapons in the ongoing conflict between the two nations.

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This week, three anonymous US officials revealed that an aid package containing cluster munitions, fired by a 155 millimetre Howitzer cannon, is expected to be announced imminently, possibly as soon as Friday. While this move is met with opposition from human rights groups, it could serve as a potent addition to Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian forces fighting on its soil.

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Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential political adviser, described the transfer of additional volumes of shells to Ukraine as a crucial step towards expediting the de-occupation procedures. He specifically emphasized the impact of cluster ammunition, which he believed would greatly affect the already demoralized Russian occupation groups. Podolyak further asserted that this type of projectile could significantly diminish the combat capacity and morale of Russian soldiers.

Expressing gratitude for the understanding of its partners regarding the harsh realities of war, Ukraine stressed its urgent need for additional shells and ammunition. The White House acknowledged on Thursday that the possibility of sending cluster munitions to Ukraine was “under active consideration,” but refrained from making an immediate announcement.

Ukrainian servicemen assist people to cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin northwest of Kyiv during heavy shelling and bombing on March 5 2022. AFP

In contrast, Human Rights Watch has urged both Russia and Ukraine to cease the use of cluster munitions and implored the United States not to supply them. Citing the casualties among Ukrainian civilians caused by these banned munitions, the organization condemned the indiscriminate nature of the weapons, which release numerous smaller bomblets capable of inflicting widespread harm.

Although cluster munitions are prohibited by more than 120 countries, their potential acquisition by Ukraine could offer a new dimension to its defense strategy. As developments unfold, the ramifications of this decision will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the ongoing conflict in the region.