21 April 2022

ICBL-CMC Calls on All Parties to End Cluster Munitions Use in Ukraine and Respect Global Ban on the Weapon

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(Geneva, 21 April 2022) – The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC) strongly condemns the first alleged use of banned cluster munitions by Ukrainian forces in the eight-week-old war in the country, as reported by the New York Times on 18 April. 

“As a survivor who lives daily with the consequences of cluster munitions use, there can be no justification for use of this insidious weapon by anyone, anywhere. We call on all parties to end all use immediately, and take all measures to protect civilian lives,” said Cluster Munition Coalition Ambassador Branislav Kapetanović.

Cluster munitions have been repeatedly used by Russia in Ukraine, since it invaded the country in February. The widespread use of banned cluster munitions in the conflict is documented in a new Vox Media video report, as well as by ICBL-CMC member Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others.

“The reported use of cluster munitions by government forces in Ukraine will only make worse the humanitarian tragedy taking place in the country,” said ICBL-CMC Director Hector Guerra. “The ICBL-CMC calls on the Governments of Ukraine and Russia to halt to all use of the weapon, and condemns any use of cluster munitions by any actor, anywhere.”

Use of the weapon is banned under the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, adopted by 110 countries. Neither Ukraine nor Russia has acceded to the Convention, while Ukraine

has previously acknowledged the humanitarian impact of the weapon. On 2 March, Ukraine joined 139 other states in approving a UN Resolution demanding that all parties to the conflict fully comply with obligations under international humanitarian law and condemning all violations in that regard. 

Ukraine possesses a stockpile of cluster munitions that it inherited from the former Soviet Union. Both armed forces of the government of Ukraine, and Russian-backed armed opposition groups, used cluster munitions in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in 2014–2015 according to Cluster Munition Monitor, though the government of Ukraine has repeatedly denied using the weapon.

ICBL-CMC works for a world free of antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive remnants of war, where all lives are protected: a world where contaminated land is cleared and returned to local populations for productive use and where the needs of affected communities and survivors are met and their human rights guaranteed.



  • Find out more on how you can support ICBL-CMC efforts to assist communities impacted by landmines and cluster munitions, and help to eliminate the suffering caused by these weapons.