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Reznikov: Ukraine to share report on cluster munition use with US

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 24, 2023 12:22 PM 2 min read
Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov amid foreign leaders at the NATO summit in Vilnius on July 12, 2023. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
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Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview broadcast on CNN on July 23 that he will share a report on Ukraine's use of cluster munitions with the Pentagon in the coming days.

He stated that he expects the munitions will have been so far effective against artillery systems, armored personnel carriers, and against Russian infantry in particular.

"I hope that they will be more efficient than normal ammunition," he added.

On July 20, the U.S. reported that Ukraine has started to use U.S.-provided cluster munitions.

The weapons "are actually having an impact on Russia’s defensive formations and Russia’s defensive maneuvering," said National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby.

The Washington Post cited Ukrainian officials to report that the weaponry has been deployed in Ukraine's southeast and is expected to be used against Russian positions near the occupied city of Bakhmut.

The munitions have apparently been used to break up the Russian trenches slowing down Ukrainian advances.

The announcement that the U.S. was sending cluster munitions to Ukraine was seen as controversial due to humanitarian concerns over their use.

Cluster munitions scatter bomblets over a wide area. The cluster munition duds, or unexploded bomblets, can pose a danger to the civilian population in the area long after the hostilities end.

The Ukrainian military has said that cluster munitions will only be used for the de-occupation of territory and will not be used in cities, densely populated areas, or on Russian territory.

Over 120 countries banned using, developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, or transferring cluster munitions in the 2010 convention. Ukraine, the U.S., and Russia are not signatories to the convention.

In his interview with CNN, Reznikov also discussed his forecast for the coming year, suggesting that the NATO summit in Washington DC next summer could "be a very important day for Ukraine."

He added that NATO membership for Ukraine will be in NATO's own interest due to Ukraine's role as Europe's "eastern shield" and that Ukrainians have real experience in deterring Russia.

When asked by CNN if he thinks the war will be won by the 2024 summit, Reznikov replied "yes, and we will win this war," but that Ukraine needs US-made F-16 fighter jets to do so.

He said that training for Ukrainian pilots, technicians and engineers for F-16s will begin next month in Denmark and the Netherlands.

How controversial cluster munitions give Ukraine needed punch during counteroffensive
Ukraine has begun using American cluster munitions in the field and is doing so effectively, according to the White House. “They are using them appropriately,” National Security Spokesman John Kirby said on July 21. “They’re using them effectively, and they are actually having an impact on Russia’s…

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