Report: Ukraine Used Widely Banned Weapon
'NYT,' Human Rights Watch see evidence of cluster munitions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 21, 2014 9:40 AM CDT
A man removes debris in a damaged room of his house after shelling in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Oct. 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

(Newser) – Cluster munitions are banned across many countries, but the Ukrainian military appears to have used them in rebel-controlled territory, the New York Times reports. Donetsk, which is home to a million people during peacetime, likely saw attacks on Oct. 2 and 5, leaving six wounded and one Red Cross worker dead. The new report could support Russia's argument that Ukraine is attacking its own people, the Times notes. But Human Rights Watch says both sides have likely used the weapons in the conflict. Ukraine is not party to an international convention banning the use of cluster weapons; neither are Russia or the US.

"It's pretty clear that cluster munitions are being used indiscriminately in populated areas, particularly in attacks in early October in Donetsk city," says a Human Rights Watch rep, noting that "the military logic behind these attacks is not apparent." Ukraine's military rejects allegations that it has used such weapons, but witnesses say they saw rockets arriving in the city from the area where the military is stationed. "Trust me, when it is day after day after day, you get to know your Grad launches from your Uragan launches," says a farmer, referring to two types of rockets used in the fighting.