Putin Threatens to Retaliate with Cluster Bombs if Ukraine Uses U.S. Munitions
Russian President Putin

Putin Threatens to Retaliate with Cluster Bombs if Ukraine Uses U.S. Munitions

Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to retaliate with cluster bombs if Ukraine uses U.S.-supplied munitions against his forces, according to a television clip released by Russian state television on Sunday. Putin issued a warning to Ukraine not to deploy the largely internationally outlawed cluster munitions that were shipped recently by the United States.

“I want to say that Russia has sufficient reserves of various types of cluster munitions,” Putin said in a video clip released by Russian state TV. Russia did not want to use this resource, he added. “But of course, if it is used against us, then we reserve the right to take congruent actions.”

Human rights activists accuse Russian and Ukrainian forces of already using cluster bombs. Putin denied this, even though he admitted that for a time there was a “known shortage of the ammunition” on the Russian side. Cluster munitions are missiles and bombs that burst in the air over the target and scatter many small explosive devices.

Their use is controversial because a considerable proportion of them do not detonate but remain unexploded, like mines, endangering civilians long after hostilities have ended.

A total of 111 countries have outlawed cluster bombs under an international treaty, but the U.S., Ukraine and Russia have not signed that treaty. Ukraine can potentially use the munitions to help clear extensive Russian defensive positions in its ongoing counteroffensive to retake its territories in the east and south.

The provision of the controversial cluster munitions is intended to fill a “gap” for Ukraine, according to the U.S. administration.

U.S. President Joe Biden was determined not to leave Ukraine “defenceless,” Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told US broadcaster CNN on Sunday.

Biden had earlier acknowledged that the U.S. had little other ammunition left in its stockpiles and described cluster munitions as a temporary solution. Asked about this, Sullivan said that after Biden’s administration took office, it had been determined that the stockpiles of NATO standard munitions in the U.S. were “relatively small.”

Putin also mocked European politicians, whom he described as being totally dependent on the U.S. on state television on Sunday. He also stated that Russian specialists will analyse the NATO weapons captured during the war against Ukraine and use them to improve Russia’s military systems.

“If there is an opportunity to look inside to see if there is something there that can be applied in our country, well, why not?” Putin told Russian state television on Sunday. Putin repeated his assertion that Ukraine’s counteroffensive to liberate its occupied territories in the east and south of the country was unsuccessful.

In contrast, Ukraine has reported numerous territorial gains. The Russian military often uses social media networks to display captured military equipment donated by Western allies who support Ukraine. There have been proposals in the parliament in Moscow to organize an exhibition of the spoils of war. Ukraine also displays captured Russian weapons in the city centre of the capital Kiev.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is heading to New York to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the International Criminal Court (ICC). There, she is expected to give a speech calling for a reform of international law so that perpetrators of a war of aggression such as the Russian leader are held accountable.

“No one should be allowed to wage a war of aggression in the 21st century and go unpunished,” the Baerbock said on Sunday before her trip to New York.  Nigerian Treasury Bills Yield Rises to 7%