US Preparing To Give Devastating Weapon to Ukraine

US Preparing To Give Devastating Weapon to Ukraine

( – Russia’s war in Ukraine is still dragging on more than 16 months after it began. While Ukraine has stopped Russia’s offensive, the army’s attempt to take back its land has stalled recently. To revitalize the efforts of getting Russian soldiers out of their borders, Ukraine’s government is asking the United States to provide cluster munitions, a deadly weapon largely condemned due to their massive destruction zone and potential to kill civilians.

Understanding Cluster Munitions

Cluster munitions are a weapons group that puts dozens of small bombs within one main bomb that is dropped from the air or shot at an enemy. The larger projectile releases the small “bomblets” haphazardly near its target, destroying and killing whatever is in its path. This destruction can be extensive, leaving shrapnel everywhere. Additionally, the small bombs sometimes fail to explode, leaving land mines for civilians to encounter. Due to the high probability of civilian casualties, over 123 nations have signed a treaty saying they will not stockpile or use these weapons. However, neither Russia nor the United States signed the agreement — and neither has Ukraine.

These cluster munitions have already been used by both sides in the Russia-Ukraine war. Now, however, Ukraine wants to tap into the large US stockpile of the weapons for use in their counteroffensive.

Lawmakers Ask Biden to Comply With Ukrainian Request

On Friday, June 23, House Representatives and Helsinki Commission members Steve Cohen (D-TN), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Ukrainian-born Victoria Spartz (R-IN) sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to send a cluster munition known as dual-purpose improved conventional munitions, or DPICMs, to Ukraine. The DPICMs have 88 small bombs within the larger projectile. According to the news site Foreign Policy, the letter asked Biden to allow America to “use this untapped, vast arsenal in service of Ukrainian victory, and reclaiming Europe’s peace.”

This request came months after Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MI), Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Mike Rogers (R-AL) wrote a letter in March asking Biden to send the same DPICMs to Ukraine. This note told Biden that his fears of escalation are “unfounded,” as “other countries have already supplied these weapons” without pushing Putin to escalate the war outside of Ukraine. The letter also highlighted that the Ukrainian government fully understands the risks associated with these weapons, as Russia has been using them against them for months.

As of Thursday, June 29, President Joe Biden has not given a firm yes or no about providing these DPICMs to Ukraine, although Human Rights Watch continues to condemn their use and ask Biden to refrain from sending these weapons abroad.

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