July 22 (Portal) – A Russian war reporter was killed and three wounded in a suspected Ukrainian attack with cluster munitions on Saturday, sparking outrage among politicians.
The Defense Ministry said the wounded journalists were evacuated from the battlefield after they came under fire in Ukraine’s south-eastern Zaporizhia region. It was said that Rostislav Zhuravlev, who worked for the state news agency RIA, died during his transfer.
The ministry provided no evidence that Ukraine used cluster munitions in the incident, and Portal was unable to verify this claim.
Ukraine received cluster bombs from the United States this month, but has pledged to use them only to disperse enemy soldiers.
Many countries ban these weapons because they scatter bombs that can rain shrapnel over a large area and pose a threat to civilians. Some do not usually detonate immediately, but may detonate years later.
Konstantin Kosachyov, deputy speaker of the upper house of parliament, said the use of cluster munitions was “inhumane” and that responsibility rested with both Ukraine and the United States.
Leonid Slutsky, party leader in the Lower House, called it a “monstrous crime”.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, tweeted: “I wonder what US public opinion thinks of their country crossing all moral red lines in a vain attempt to salvage the collapsing corrupt Kiev regime.”
Their reactions ignored the fact that Russia’s own use of cluster bombs in the war was documented by human rights groups and the UN
US-based Human Rights Watch said in May that Russian forces used the weapons in attacks that killed hundreds of civilians and damaged homes, hospitals and schools.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby said this week that Ukrainian forces have appropriately and effectively used cluster munitions against Russian formations.
The governor of Russia’s southern Belgorod region earlier on Saturday claimed Ukraine fired cluster munitions at a village right in Russia the day before, but without causing any casualties or damage. He did not provide any visual evidence.
Reporting by Caleb Davis and Mark Trevelyan; Edited by Nick Macfie
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