Kiev Govt Used Cluster Munitions in Populated Zones in E. Ukraine: HRW
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The forces of the Kiev government used cluster munitions in populated areas in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, says Human Rights Watch. It adds that the use of this forbidden weaponry violates the laws of war.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) was documenting the “widespread use of cluster munitions” in fighting between government troops and self-defense forces, according to investigation carried by the watchdog.
“While it was not possible to conclusively determine responsibility for many of the attacks, the evidence points to Ukrainian government forces’ responsibility for several cluster munition attacks on Donetsk [Donetsk Region, Eastern Ukraine],” says the report.
Donetsk, which before the launch of the Kiev military operation in April had a population of about 1 million people, is now literally in ruins. Heavy shelling claimed hundreds of civilians in the city, RT reported.
On Monday a huge blast rocked a chemical factory in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the city council says on its website. The blast wave reportedly shattered windows in houses in a radius of several kilometers.
An investigation says that at least six civilians were killed and dozens injured in these attacks. But the real casualty number is probably higher, says HRW, as the watchdog hasn’t yet probed all the allegations of the cluster munition use in the conflict zone.
“It is shocking to see a weapon that most countries have banned used so extensively in eastern Ukraine,” said Mark Hiznay, senior arms researcher at HRW. “Ukrainian authorities should make an immediate commitment not to use cluster munitions and join the treaty to ban them.”
The danger of cluster munitions is that each of them contains hundreds of smaller submunitions. After the bomb explodes the container opens up “dispersing the submunitions, which are designed to explode when they hit the ground,” says the investigation.