Putin Threatens Retaliation: Ukraine's Use of US-Supplied Cluster Munitions Raises Tensions

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 07/17/2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to respond in kind if Ukraine uses cluster munitions that the United States has provided on the battlefield.

When asked about the decision by US President Joe Biden's administration to give Ukraine cluster munitions, which are illegal in more than 100 nations because of the danger they pose to civilians, Putin gave his opinion to journalist Pavel Zarubin. 

The US administration itself provided an assessment of these munitions through the mouths of its employees some time ago, describing their use as a crime. According to a portion of the interview that was made public on Sunday, he stated, "I believe it should be regarded in this way.

The Russian president reportedly made reference to a statement made by Jen Psaki, a former press secretary for the White House, in late February 2022, just days after the start of the Ukraine conflict, in which she suggested that the use of the contentious weapons might constitute a crime against humanity.

The Russian leader asserted that the US gave its approval because of a shortage of ammunition, pointing out that Ukraine consumes far more shells than the West at the moment.

"Russia has an adequate supply of different kinds of cluster munitions... We haven't used them yet. Despite the well-known [munitions] deficit, we have not had to for a while, Putin said.

The controversial ammunition has already arrived in Ukraine, according to recent confirmation from American officials after Washington made the decision to send cluster munitions to Kiev earlier this month. 


When they explode, cluster munitions are notorious for scattering numerous bomblets over a large area. Numerous years after the fighting has stopped, the submunitions continue to pose a serious threat to civilians.

While many of Washington's allies have voiced concerns about the action, Moscow has vehemently opposed it. Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, described it as a "gesture of desperation" and a covert acknowledgment of Kiev's poor performance on the battlefield. He also charged that US policymakers had "turned a blind eye to civilian casualties" and had "ignored the arguments about the inhumanity" of the action.

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