Putin says Russia Holds Cluster Bombs Will Use if Attacked in Ukraine
President Vladimir Putin has declared that Russia possesses an ample supply of cluster bombs and is prepared to utilize them if Russian forces in Ukraine face the deployment of such munitions.
Although Putin considers the use of cluster bombs a crime, he insists on reserving the right to respond in kind if they are used against his country’s troops.
Ukraine recently announced that it received cluster bombs from its main military supporter, the United States. The US argues that these munitions are necessary to compensate for the shortage of shells experienced by Kyiv’s forces during their counteroffensive operations.
However, cluster munitions are banned in over 100 countries due to their tendency to release numerous small bomblets that cause indiscriminate casualties over a wide area. Some of these bomblets remain unexploded for years, posing a particular threat to children.
Kyiv has stated that it intends to employ cluster bombs to dislodge concentrations of enemy soldiers within its own territory, but it will refrain from using them on Russian soil.
Speaking on state television, Putin affirmed that Russia possesses various types of cluster bombs in its arsenal, although they have not yet been utilized.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that if cluster bombs were employed against Russian forces, Moscow would respond accordingly.
“I want to emphasize that the Russian Federation has accumulated an adequate stockpile of diverse cluster bombs. We have refrained from their use thus far. However, should they be used against us, we maintain the right to take proportionate action.”
Despite experiencing ammunition shortages in the past, Putin maintained that Russia had not found it necessary to resort to using cluster bombs, which he considers criminal.
Human Rights Watch has reported the use of cluster munitions by both Moscow and Kyiv. Notably, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States have not ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the production, stockpiling, use, and transfer of such weapons.
Furthermore, Putin expressed his view that there is no issue with Russian specialists examining captured Western military equipment and missiles, including the Storm Shadow missiles supplied by Britain to Ukraine. The objective of these examinations is to identify any useful elements that could enhance Russia’s own military capabilities.