On July 6th 2023, we learned about what may be the worst development yet in the Russian-Ukrainian war.
This announcement, although negative in and of itself as it will surely motivate the Ukrainian President to stay away from the negotiating table, is not the terrible development I am so concerned about.
The really horrible aspect of this announced funding is the fact that it will include a large shipment of cluster bombs — weapons that explode in mid-air, releasing thousands of explosive submunitions or “bomblets” across a wide area.
As of April 2023, 111 states around the world, including Canada, have ratified an international Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the use, transfer, production, and stockpiling of cluster munitions. A further 12 states have signed but not yet ratified the treaty.
Unfortunately, a significant number of nations – including the United States, Russia, and Ukraine – continue to use cluster munitions.
Cluster bombs do not select between military victims and civilian victims. They kill and injure indiscriminately, and the injuries suffered are horrific.
To make matters even worse, cluster bombs consistently leave behind a large number of unexploded bomblets – many laying on the ground for years, sometimes decades, after the military conflict has come to an end.
Unsuspecting innocent civilians, including children, later coming into contact with these unexploded bomblets are badly injured. The Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor has reported that in 2020 alone, at least 1,872 children were casualties of cluster bomblets and landmines – with 645 killed and 1,218 injured in 34 states and one other location.
The use of cluster bombs is considered a war crime because of their indiscriminate nature. The International Criminal Court has already opened a war crimes investigation related to the use of these weapons in the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Humanitarian organizations such as Human Rights Watch, upon hearing this development, have urged the U.S. to immediately change course and not provide Ukraine with this unimaginably cruel weapon, citing the civilian deaths already occurring due to the use of these munitions.
In response to the announcement, U.S. allies such as Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Spain, and Brazil have also publicly spoken out against the use of these weapons.
Innocent civilians are dying every day. This latest arms shipment will make an already bad situation unimaginably worse.
This shipment must be stopped, and Russia and Ukraine must get to the bargaining table NOW.
Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]
Latest daily total (July 12, 2023): 421.90ppm
One year ago (July 11, 2022): 419.08ppm
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