[Der Bericht von Human Rights Watch hat zahlreiche Reaktionen hervorgerufen. Unterschiedliche Positionen dazu wurden in einem Artikel der Deutschen Welle hier: <http://www.dw.de/streit-um-streubomben-bericht-von-hrw/a-18012403> zusammengefasst – Anm. d. Redaktion der Ukraine-Analysen]
Ukraine: Widespread Use of Cluster Munitions
Government Responsible for Cluster Attacks on Donetsk
October 20, 2014
(Berlin) – Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.
During a week-long investigation in eastern Ukraine, Human Rights Watch documented widespread use of cluster munitions in fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in more than a dozen urban and rural locations. While it was not possible to conclusively determine responsibility for many of the attacks, the evidence points to Ukrainian government forces’ responsibility for several cluster munition attacks on Donetsk. An employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was killed on October 2 in an attack on Donetsk that included use of cluster munition rockets.
It is shocking to see a weapon that most countries have banned used so extensively in eastern Ukraine,” said Mark Hiznay, senior arms researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Ukrainian authorities should make an immediate commitment not to use cluster munitions and join the treaty to ban them.”
Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of smaller munitions, called submunitions, in a container such as a rocket or a bomb. After launch, the container opens up dispersing the submunitions which are designed to explode when they hit the ground. The submunitions are spread indiscriminately over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of attack, whether combatants or civilians, at risk of death or injury. In addition, many of the submunitions do not explode on contact, but remain armed, becoming de facto landmines. Any location contaminated with dud submunitions remains hazardous until cleared by deminers.
To date, 114 countries have joined the treaty that comprehensively bans cluster munitions because of the danger they pose to civilians. Ukraine has not joined the treaty.