News by AUN News correspondent
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
- Cluster munitions are indiscriminate and can hurt civilians; therefore, President Joe Biden’s decision to give them to Ukraine has sparked criticism.
- President Biden’s move revived worldwide discussions about cluster munitions in the Ukraine conflict.
- The paper explains that Kyiv and Moscow are committing war crimes in eastern Ukraine’s attrition war.
- After an uprising deposed Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014, the Donbas area rebelled.
- Since then, the war has worsened. Donbas residents have faced paramilitary violence, widespread mining, and cluster bombs.
- President Biden’s action undermines international attempts to ban deadly weapons and promotes violence, prompting a global outcry.
- The paper concludes that a comprehensive approach is needed to resolve the conflict and protect those caught in the crossfire.
President Joe Biden’s controversial decision to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions has ignited a wave of concern and triggered widespread protests. In a devastating display of destructive power, bombs equipped with the ability to disperse into smaller-sized bomblets have been causing widespread havoc. With a complete disregard for distinction, these lethal weapons have been mercilessly saturating the target area, resulting in the tragic loss of innocent civilian lives. The decision to deploy cluster munitions has sparked concerns not only among Ukraine’s key allies, such as Canada and the UK, but also on a global scale, given that more than 100 nations have prohibited the use of these weapons. In the ongoing Ukraine conflict, it is imperative to acknowledge that the use of cluster bombs is not a recent occurrence. Since 2014, all parties engaged in this conflict have been utilising them. In an effort to provide clarity on the complex conflict in eastern Ukraine and the far-reaching consequences of President Biden’s recent decision, this article delves into the intricacies of the situation.
The War in Eastern Ukraine: A War of Attrition
Step into eastern Ukraine, where Kyiv and Moscow fight a relentless war of attrition that has catastrophic effects on innocent citizens. In spring 2014, a US-backed rebellion overthrew Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, kicking off a chain of events that would destabilise Donbas.
Donbas residents believed Yanukovych was their rightful leader and refused to recognise the new government. Ideology and power clashed.
The battle increased rapidly in summer 2014. On one side was Kyiv’s new US-backed government, prepared to take over the country. Russia-backed rebels, aided by Russian fighters, supported their cause. The Donbas, Ukraine’s industrial heartland with 3.6 million people, was the site of the conflict.
The war destroyed Donbas cities and towns. After constant combat, the once-vibrant countryside resembles a post-apocalyptic wasteland. This region’s people have suffered unimaginably, losing lives, families, and communities.
The turmoil and war atrocities on both sides have exacerbated despair. In this scenario, paramilitary gangs rule over innocent populations, like in “Mad Max.” Kidnappings, rapes, and murders are disturbingly widespread, causing stress and misery.
To make matters worse, the Donbas is one of the world’s most mined regions. Formerly productive fields are now death traps for everyone who steps on them. Fear of hidden explosives burdens the already suffering populace.
Snipers prey on unsuspecting peasants caught in the warring factions’ no-man’s land. As they traverse a panorama of death and destruction, every step is dangerous.
This war has devastated eastern Ukraine. Dreams are gone, lives are shattered, and hope is tenuous. The war of attrition continues, keeping the region in unstable conditions.
The world community must act to stop this needless bloodshed in the face of such devastation. The innocent people caught in the crossfire need quick help.
Eastern Ukraine’s war is a real-life catastrophe. We must put aside our disagreements and work towards a peaceful solution that protects everyone’s rights, safety, and well-being. Only then can we rehabilitate and heal the land and its people.
Indiscriminate Use of Cluster Munitions: A Horrific Consequence
The use of cluster munitions is just one aspect of the horrors endured by the people of Donbas. Both sides have resorted to deploying Mad Max-style paramilitaries that have engaged in acts of kidnapping, rape, and murder. Additionally, they have haphazardly mined fields, turning the Donbas into one of the most landmined areas in the world. The deployment of snipers by both parties further adds to the suffering of innocent villagers who find themselves caught in the no-man’s land between the combatants.
The Implications of President Biden’s Decision
President Biden’s decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine has raised significant concerns among various nations and sparked protests globally. Cluster bombs are widely considered to be inhumane and indiscriminate weapons that disproportionately harm civilians. By offering these arms to Ukraine, President Biden unintentionally reinforces the false impression that cluster bombs are only now being introduced into the conflict. The reality is that all sides involved in the war have been utilising cluster munitions since 2014.
The move to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions undermines international efforts to ban these weapons and sends a contradictory message regarding their use. It is essential to recognise that providing such weapons not only perpetuates the cycle of violence but also exacerbates the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Are cluster munitions illegal?
More than 100 countries prohibit the use of cluster munitions because of their indiscriminate use and the harm they do to civilians. Long after a fight has finished, these weapons can still pose a hazard to civilian populations since they have a vast area of action and frequently leave behind unexploded bomblets.
Why are Canada and the UK concerned about President Biden’s decision?
Close U.S. allies Canada and the UK have voiced disapproval of President Biden’s choice to give cluster munitions to Ukraine. Cluster munitions are prohibited internationally, and both nations reject them as brutal and indiscriminate weapons. They are concerned that using such weapons will cause the conflict to worsen and hurt innocent civilians.
When did the use of cluster munitions begin in the Ukraine conflict?
In the conflict in Ukraine, cluster bombs first saw use in 2014. Since then, these weapons have been used by all combatants. President Biden’s choice gives the appearance that cluster bombs are just now being used in the battle, when in fact they have been for a long time.
What other atrocities have occurred in the Donbas region?
Beyond the use of cluster munitions, the Donbas region has seen other atrocities. Both parties to the war have mobilised paramilitary forces that have committed murder, rape, and kidnapping crimes. It has also been severely mined, making it one of the world’s most heavily mined locations. In addition, snipers used by both sides have targeted civilians caught in the middle of the conflict.
What are the consequences of President Biden’s decision?
The provision of cluster munitions to Ukraine by President Biden has a number of repercussions. It undercuts efforts to outlaw these weapons internationally and conveys a confusing message about how they should be used. Additionally, it exacerbates the humanitarian problem in the Donbas region and continues the cycle of conflict.
What steps can be taken to address the conflict in Ukraine?
A comprehensive approach involving diplomatic negotiations, de-escalation efforts, and adherence to international law is required to address the conflict in Ukraine. Prioritising the well-being of civilians and working towards a peaceful resolution that guarantees the safety and liberties of all individuals affected by the conflict are indispensable.
The provision of cluster munitions to Ukraine by President Joe Biden has caused much concern and demonstrations. Over 100 countries have prohibited the use of these weapons because they harm civilians without discrimination and are largely seen as barbaric. However, it is crucial to understand that since 2014, all parties involved in the Ukraine conflict have used cluster munitions. War crimes committed by both Kiev and Moscow characterise the situation in eastern Ukraine as an attrition war. The choice made by President Biden thwarts international attempts to outlaw cluster munitions and feeds the cycle of violence in the area. To handle the violence and give civilians caught in the crossfire priority, a comprehensive strategy is required.