Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has threatened to use cluster munitions if the United States supplies them to Ukraine, Interfax reports . Shoigu said that Russia did not use such weapons.
“Neither we, nor the Americans, nor Kyiv have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. At the same time, Russia, realizing the threat such ammunition poses to the civilian population, has refrained and refrains from using them in a special operation,” the minister said.
At the same time, as Shoigu said, in the event of the supply of cluster munitions from the United States, the Russian military "will be forced to use similar weapons against the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a response."
Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly reported that Russia is using banned cluster munitions in shelling.
In August 2022, the Cluster Munition Coalition's annual Cluster Munition Monitor reported that Russia used cluster munitions hundreds of times during the war in Ukraine. From February to July, they affected at least 689 civilians. The report states that Russia has repeatedly used cluster munitions in at least 10 of Ukraine's 24 regions.
In April 2022, a video of the shelling of residential buildings in the suburbs of Kharkov with cluster bombs appeared on the network.
According to experts from the Conflict Intelligence Team, the video shows "the explosion of submunitions of a cluster projectile." Such munitions do not always explode immediately, they are accidentally stepped on by civilians, including children.