Russian officials say the US decision to aid Ukraine with cluster munitions is a desperate attempt to prevent failure.
“Cluster munitions are an expression of despair. Such a move shows the perception of the US and its satellite countries of their incompetence. However, they do not want to admit their defeat nor do they want to admit defeat. failed in the Ukrainian army’s attempt to launch a counter-offensive in Russian regions. Therefore, they carry out new frenzied actions,” Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on July 7.
Antonov warned that the current level of US provocation “is really out of proportion, bringing humanity closer to a new world war “.
The Russian diplomat said that the US is so obsessed with the idea of defeating Russia that it does not realize the seriousness of the action of delivering cluster munitions because this only increases the number of victims and prolongs the difficulty. of the Kiev government.
“The US administration completely ignored the warnings about the inhumanity of such a step, voiced by experts, human rights activists, and legislators, and turned a blind eye to human casualties. Now, due to the mistake of the United States, for many years to come there will be the risk of innocent civilians being injured by unexploded ordnance,” Antonov said.
The White House and the Pentagon have confirmed that the US will provide cluster bombs to Ukraine as part of the latest aid package worth $800 million. This is a controversial weapon because of the level of danger and damage if used.
Cluster ammunition or cluster bombs, when detonated, will disperse small bullets over a large area. Small projectiles may not fully explode when released and pose a long-term risk to anyone who touches them, similar to landmines. Cluster munitions have been banned by 123 countries because of their long-term danger to civilians.
U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told reporters at the Pentagon that the decision to aid cluster munitions was made by “the urgency of the moment” and Ukraine’s desire to continue fighting.
“We want to make sure that Ukraine has enough shells to keep fighting in the current counter-offensive, and because things are going a little bit slower than expected,” Kahl said.
Despite Ukraine’s massive losses in the counter-offensive, Kahl claimed Ukrainian forces were “exploring weak points” in Russia’s multi-layered defense network, asserting most of its combat power. of Ukraine “not yet mobilized”.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine’s long-prepared counter-offensive has yielded little or no results in more than a month of fighting, during which Ukraine lost many tanks and other armored vehicles. supplied by the West and more than 10,000 casualties.
Antonov pointed out that the US move ignored concerns from Washington’s allies, most of whom have ratified the Cluster Munitions Convention, as well as doubts from the UN Secretary-General. Antonio Guterres.
Russian Ambassador to Belarus Boris Gryzlov also said that the US intention to supply cluster bombs to Ukraine was “a desperate move” because Kiev’s counterattack did not go as planned.
“Now the West has realized that the much-touted counter-attack by the Ukrainian armed forces did not go as planned, so they are trying at all costs to create at least some momentum. force for that counterattack, it was a desperate move,” Ambassador Gryzlov told Russia’s state news agency.