UN mission confirms Russia uses cluster munitions in war against Ukraine

31 March, 08:22 PM
Cluster munitions used by Russian troops to shell Kryvyi Rih (Photo:dnipr.gp.gov.ua)

Cluster munitions used by Russian troops to shell Kryvyi Rih (Photo:dnipr.gp.gov.ua)

The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has received credible allegations that Russian forces have used cluster munitions at least 16 times in populated areas of Ukraine, the mission said in an update on situation in Ukraine from Feb. 24 to March 26.

The mission said that the use of such weapons had resulted in civilian casualties, as well as damage to civilian objects.

"For example, on Feb. 24, a cluster munition exploded at the Central City Hospital in Government-controlled Vuhledar (Donetsk region), killing at least four civilians and injuring 10, and damaging ambulances and the hospital," the update said.

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"On Feb. 25, six bomblets landed on and around a kindergarten in government-controlled Okhtyrka (Sumy region). The same day, non-precision guided missiles bearing cluster munitions were used in several districts of government-controlled Kharkiv, killing at least nine civilians and injuring 37."

At the same time, it is noted that whilst neither the Russian Federation nor Ukraine ratified the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, due to their wider area effects the use of cluster munitions in populated areas is incompatible with the international humanitarian law principles governing the conduct of hostilities, and these principles are binding on the parties to the conflict.

However, the UN mission says it has not been able to verify Russia's claims that the Ukrainian Army also used cluster munitions.

On March 30, the United Nations reported that the number of people who had fled Ukraine since Russian troops invaded had surpassed 4 million.

Meanwhile, the number of those killed among the civilian population reached 1,100.

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