Update: Russian ‘Cluster Bomb Use’ Condemned

Russia used cluster munitions in populated areas in Georgia, killing at least 11 civilians and injuring many more, Human Rights Watch revealed today.  This confirms earlier press reports posted on Political Minefields yesterday.

“Cluster bombs are indiscriminate killers that most nations have agreed to outlaw,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Russia’s use of this weapon is not only deadly to civilians, but also an insult to international efforts to avoid a global humanitarian disaster of the kind caused by landmines”

Cluster munitions are designed to target areas — they are the opposite of precision ‘smart bombs’ — and many fail to explode upon impact, leaving a dangerous legacy of unstable ordnance after fighting ends. Cluster munitions are thus considered indiscriminate, and unacceptable, weapons by the 107 signatories to the recent cluster munitions ban treaty.  Russia is not a signatory (for more background Russia and cluster munitions, click here), neither is Georgia. 

See also this story from Live News.

Addendum 15 August 2008, 09:00 — Here is a statement from the Cluster Munition Coalition condemning Russia’s use of cluster bombs.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 15 August 2008.

5 Responses to “Update: Russian ‘Cluster Bomb Use’ Condemned”

  1. Here is an Op-Ed I wrote on this issue for The Examiner (Independence, MO, USA):

  2. Russia’s denial:

  3. […] fighting.  Cluster munitions can become de facto landmines if they fail to detonate properly.  See the earlier Political Minefields posting for further information. Russia has denied using cluster […]

  4. […] In this web video I produced for Sustainable Good, a blog on poverty and development issues, Ed Kenny of Handicap International USA talks about the humanitarian impact of cluster munitions, in light of their recent use by Russia in Georgia.  For more information on Russia’s cluster munition use, see the latest updates from Human Rights Watch and the Cluster Munition Coalition, or read my earlier post on the topic. […]

  5. […] ‘also used cluster bombs’ Following human rights groups’ condemnation of Russia’s use of cluster bombs in Georgia, Human Rights Watch has revealed that Georgia also used such munitions during the […]

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