The messy business that’s the war in Eastern Ukraine continues and New York based Human Rights Watch says there’s been widespread use of cluster bombs in the conflict.
In a report, HRW says cluster munitions have been commonly used in fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in more than a dozen urban and rural locations.
After a week’s long investigation, HRW have accused the Ukrainian military of using cluster bombs in populated areas in Donetsk city earlier this month. They say it may amount to a war crime.
HRW said that cluster bombs are an indiscriminate weapon.
“Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of smaller munitions, called submunitions, in a container such as a rocket or a bomb,” explains HRW’s report.
“After launch, the container opens up dispersing the submunitions which are designed to explode when they hit the ground. The submunitions are spread indiscriminately over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of attack, whether combatants or civilians, at risk of death or injury,” the report stated.
“In addition, many of the submunitions do not explode on contact, but remain armed, becoming de facto landmines. Any location contaminated with dud submunitions remains hazardous until cleared by deminers”.
In the 12 incidents that HRW documented, cluster munitions killed at least six people and injured dozens.
While not conclusive, circumstances indicate that anti-government forces might also have been responsible for the use of cluster munitions, HRW said.
Ukraine’s government have said that they will conduct a full inquiry into the allegations made by HRW, reports The Telegraph.
See HRW’s video above for more information.