John Kirby, the spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council, defended the Biden administration’s choice to send cluster munitions to Ukraine despite concerns about their impact on civilians and the fact that many countries have banned their use.
Kirby also talked about a recent meeting between former American officials and diplomats from Russia earlier in 2023 during an interview with ABC.
Regarding cluster munitions, Kirby emphasized that Ukraine would take measures to minimize the bombs’ effects outside the battlefield. He argued that preventing Russia from winning the war in Ukraine would be the most significant step the U.S. could take to protect non-combatants.
Kirby stated that because of Russia’s expansive use of similar ammunition in the war, that it is only fair that the USA is able to give Ukraine similar munitions so that they can have a fair fight against Russia.
He added that Ukrainian soldiers are rapidly exhausting their other ammunition by using thousands of rounds per day, which is why cluster munitions are being delivered.
Kirby acknowledged that the production rate of the preferred artillery shells is not meeting the demand, prompting the decision to send cluster munitions. He clarified that these munitions are intended as a temporary measure while efforts are made to increase the production of conventional artillery shells.
The provision of cluster munitions coincides with Ukraine’s slower-than-expected counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion, prompting Kyiv’s allies to explore ways to expedite the process of reclaiming occupied territories.
The now 500+ day long war has seen extensive casualties and damage on both sides of the conflict. The offensive, as aforementioned, is not going as well or fast as hoped, and the Russian military seems to be taking most of what is thrown at it. There are no signs from either Kyiv or Moscow that the war will be ending soon, and ever since the failed coup attempt that happened recently, it seems Moscow has regained its focus.