On Friday, President Biden’s Department of Defense announced that it would be sending additional military aid to Ukraine – including controversial cluster munitions, which are expected to lead to more civilian casualties.
The dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICMs), commonly known as cluster munitions, are “surface-to-surface warheads that explode and disperse multiple small munitions or bombs over wide areas — bringing more widespread destruction than single rounds. The rounds can be charges that penetrate armored vehicles, or they can shatter or fragment to be more dangerous for people,” NBC News explained.
Human rights groups oppose the use of cluster munitions because of their widespread destruction and because they notoriously can leave unexploded bomblets, or duds, which can explode after battle and potentially injure or kill innocent civilians.
In fact, the use of cluster munitions by Russia early in its invasion of Ukraine was part of the reasoning for President Biden to label Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.”
When asked about reports of Russia using cluster munitions in February 2022, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that their use is a “war crime.”
“There are reports of illegal cluster bombs and vacuum bombs being used by the Russians. If that’s true, what is the next step of this administration? And is there a red line for how much violence will be tolerated against civilians in this manner that’s illegal and potentially a war crime,” one reporter asked.
“It is – it would be. I don’t have any confirmation of that. We have seen the reports. If that were true, it would potentially be a war crime,” Psaki responded at the time.
BREAKING: Here is Jen Psaki in 2022 saying that using cluster bombs is a war crime
The Biden Admin is sending cluster bomber to Ukraine today pic.twitter.com/dSMKqumDm1
— Jack Poso ???????? (@JackPosobiec) July 7, 2023