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Putin Claims Russia Has Adequate Cluster Bomb Stockpile Amid Ukraine's Acquisition of U.S. Cluster Bombs

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Vladimir Putin Warns Ukraine About Cluster Munitions

Russia's Stockpile and Response

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview that Russia has a sufficient stockpile of cluster munitions and issued a warning to Ukraine that Russia reserves the right to take reciprocal action if Ukraine uses these controversial weapons. Putin emphasized that Russia has not used cluster bombs in its conflict with Ukraine thus far. However, multiple sources, including The Associated Press and international humanitarian organizations, have documented the use of cluster bombs by both Russia and Ukraine. The use of cluster rounds has been found in the aftermath of Russian strikes.

The Arrival of Cluster Munitions in Ukraine

Recently, the Pentagon announced that cluster munitions provided by the United States had arrived in Ukraine. The U.S. views these bombs, which open in the air and release smaller bomblets, as a critical source of ammunition for Ukraine to strengthen their offensive capabilities against Russian forces. Before President Joe Biden made the final decision to supply cluster munitions, the issue was heavily debated within U.S. leadership.

Controversy and Improved Technology

Cluster bombs have long faced criticism from humanitarian groups and some U.S. allies due to their high "dud rate," meaning they often leave behind unexploded bomblets that pose a threat to civilians long after a battle has ended. However, supporters argue that the cluster munitions provided by the U.S. have been improved to significantly reduce the number of unexploded rounds. Additionally, Ukraine has promised to only use these weapons in areas away from densely populated regions.

Continued Offensive Operations

According to the Ukrainian military, Russia has intensified its offensive operations in Ukraine's industrial east. In the past 24 hours, Russia launched two Iranian-made exploding drones, two cruise missiles, and two anti-aircraft guided missiles. They also conducted 40 airstrikes and 46 rocket launcher attacks. The ongoing attacks have resulted in casualties, including two residents killed in the Donetsk region, two boys injured by an explosive device in Kherson, and a 59-year-old man who died while attempting to disarm a round in Kherson.

Targeted Regions

The Russian forces have specifically targeted regions such as Kherson, where they launched 69 shelling attacks, and Zaporizhzhia, where 13 populated areas were attacked. There have been reports of casualties and injuries in these regions as a result of the attacks. Additionally, Russian-occupied Crimea experienced a "massive and prolonged" drone attack targeting Sevastopol, the largest port in the region. Fortunately, the air defense system successfully intercepted all the drones, preventing any damage.

The Border Conflict Escalates

The escalation of the border conflict has led to the loss of innocent lives on both sides. In the Belgorod region of Russia, a woman was killed by shelling in the town of Shebekino near the border with Ukraine. As tensions continue to rise, the international community closely monitors the situation and calls for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Impact on New Business

The escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine, particularly the recent warning from Vladimir Putin regarding the use of cluster munitions, has significant implications for new businesses operating in the region. The arrival of cluster munitions in Ukraine, supplied by the United States, indicates an increase in offensive capabilities for Ukraine against Russian forces. While this may offer a potential advantage for Ukrainian businesses seeking to protect their interests, it also raises concerns about the humanitarian and economic consequences of such weaponry.

The controversy surrounding cluster munitions, including their high "dud rate" and the potential threat they pose to civilians, has long been a cause for international criticism. However, proponents argue that improved technology has minimized the risk of unexploded rounds and that Ukraine has pledged to use these weapons away from densely populated areas. Nonetheless, the use of cluster munitions in any capacity carries inherent dangers and potential backlash from the international community.

Moreover, the continued offensive operations by Russia, including airstrikes, rocket launcher attacks, and shelling in targeted regions, have already resulted in casualties and injuries. The loss of innocent lives and the ongoing instability in the conflict zone create an uncertain and volatile business environment. The risk of damage to infrastructure, disruptions to supply chains, and potential economic sanctions further complicate the prospects for new businesses entering or operating in the region.

Ultimately, the border conflict and rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine highlight the need for caution and careful assessment of the geopolitical risks for any new business considering operations in the area. As the international community calls for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, businesses must navigate the uncertain landscape with a focus on mitigating risks, establishing robust contingency plans, and closely monitoring the evolving situation to safeguard their operations and interests.

Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/16/russia-has-sufficient-stockpile-of-cluster-bombs-says-putin-as-ukraine-gets-us-cluster-bombs.html

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