WASHINGTON, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The United States can’t confirm the reports about the use of cluster bombs in Donetsk by the Ukrainian army, and calls on all parties to protect civilians, according to the spokesperson for the US Department of State.
“We’ve seen the report, but we are not in a position to confirm the use of cluster munitions in eastern Ukraine,” Marie Harf stated during the press briefing on Tuesday.
“We know Ukrainian authorities have denied use of such munitions, but [we] have called again on all sides to take steps to protect civilian lives,” she added.
Human Rights Watch released the report on Monday, claiming that Ukrainian forces used cluster munitions in populated areas of Donetsk in October. The organization also stated that the use of cluster bombs may amount to war crimes. The human rights watchdog called on Ukrainian authorities to join the international treaty, outlawing the use of such arms.
Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of submunitions. After the launch of a cluster bomb a container opens up and disperses submunitions, making them spread over a wide area endangering anyone in the vicinity. So far, 114 countries have joined a treaty, banning cluster munitions.
Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council and the country’s Foreign Ministry have denied the allegations.