Russia Has Dropped Cluster Bombs on Civilians

Cluster Bombs

According to Survivor Corps, Russia has dropped cluster bombs on civilian areas in the neighboring country of Georgia, killing at least 11 civilians and wounding dozens more.   According to Survivor Corps:

On August 7, 2008, Russia began an armed offensive against Georgia over South Ossetia, a region long recognized as part of Georgia but home to an ethnic minority with close ties to Russia.

Russia’s Use of Cluster Munitions is the first known use of the weapon since 2006, when they were used during the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The extremely high number of civilian deaths attributed to cluster munitions in that conflict initiated an international movement to ban cluster munitions, called the Oslo Process.

Cluster munitions are large weapons which are deployed from the air and from the ground and release dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions. Submunitions released by air-dropped cluster bombs are most often called “bomblets,” while those delivered from the ground by artillery or rockets are usually referred to as “grenades.”

Why should we care?  Why should we be concerned about cluster bombs? The problems with cluster bombs are many:

Air-dropped or ground-launched, they cause two major humanitarian problems and risks to civilians. First, their widespread dispersal means they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilians so the humanitarian impact can be extreme, especially when the weapon is used in or near populated areas.

Many submunitions fail to detonate on impact and become de facto antipersonnel mines killing and maiming people long after the conflict has ended. These duds are more lethal than antipersonnel mines; incidents involving submunition duds are much more likely to cause death than injury.

Tell your Senators to ban cluster bombs.

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