Ukrainians Embrace Cluster Munitions, but Are They Helping?
The weapons, banned by most countries over human rights concerns, are not a magic wand, but some Ukrainian troops say they are making a difference in fighting Russian forces.
The images of Russian troops retreating from a village in Ukraine under fire leave little doubt of the impact of cluster munitions. Soldiers running from a constellation of at least a dozen explosions around them. An armored vehicle speeding down a road before being hit in a cascade of simultaneous eruptions salting the surrounding ground.
The August drone footage of the Russian withdrawal from the southeastern village of Urozhaine, verified by The New York Times, highlights the power of the weapons. But their usage also points to a grim trade-off in the 18-month conflict. By embracing cluster munitions to keep this summers counteroffensive moving forward, Ukraine and the United States have opened themselves to human rights concerns about their long-term threat to civilians who inadvertently trigger unexploded bombs.