Russia uses banned cluster munitions

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Will: Tobias Utz, Sandra Kathe, Katja Thorwarth, Daniel Dillmann, Nail Accoyun


The situation in the war in Ukraine continues to deteriorate – militarily, diplomatically and humanitarianly: Thursday’s news.

  • Evacuations from Mariupol: UN Secretary-General comments on war plans in Ukraine
  • Battles for “Snake Island”: Russia wants to reinforce its troops in the Black Sea.
  • New escalation level: Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to impose martial law in Russia.
  • All developments and news of the Ukrainian conflict in our ticker: This is continuously updated.

+++ 06:15: According to a report by Human Rights Watch, Russian armed forces have used internationally banned cluster munitions in Ukraine. As a result, hundreds of civilians died and schools, residential buildings and hospitals were damaged, the human rights organization in Geneva reported on Thursday. The Ukrainian army also used such ammunition at least once.

There is an international treaty that bans the use, stockpiling, trade and production of cluster munitions since 2010 (Convention on Cluster Munitions). Stricto sensu, however, only the 110 Contracting States are bound by it. Russia and Ukraine are not among them. Nevertheless, widespread condemnation from so many countries has made the use of these weapons internationally banned.

Cluster munitions can be dropped by missiles on the ground or from aircraft. These are bombs, some of which contain hundreds of smaller bombs, and explode in mid-air. Ammunition spreads indiscriminately over a large area. Ammunition that does not initially explode can remain on the ground for years and is as dangerous as unexploded landmines.

War in Ukraine: no hope for fighters in Mariupol? US anticipates martial law in Russia

+++ 7:20 p.m.: According to the Ukrainian authorities, there is currently little hope for the liberation of the occupied port of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, where more than 1,000 Ukrainian fighters have been holding out for weeks in a steelworks. “As of today, such an unblocking operation would require a significant number of troops because the Ukrainian forces are 150-200 kilometers from Mariupol,” Deputy Chief of Staff Oleksiy Hromov said on Wednesday (May 11). Such an operation would also cause many casualties.

Current images from the Mariupol steelworks show that many Ukrainian fighters still trapped are injured, some seriously.
Current images from the Mariupol steelworks show that many Ukrainian fighters still trapped are injured, some seriously. © Dmytro ‘Orest’ Kozatskyi/AFP

+++ 4:15 p.m.: The US secret service surprised Tuesday afternoon by assessing that Vladimir Putin was probably planning to impose martial law in Russia. That way, the president can justify new wartime investments domestically, according to Secret Service Director Avril Haines. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the allegations on Wednesday. “No, that’s not in the plans,” he said. This is reported by the American broadcaster CNN. Peskov also claimed that Russia’s domestic political situation was very stable.

Ukrainian war: new evacuations planned from Mariupol

+++ 3:45 p.m.: According to UN Secretary General António Guterres, further evacuations are planned from Mariupol. “We are in contact with the Ukrainian and Russian authorities to take forward similar initiatives,” António Guterres said during a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

+++ 3 p.m.: The Mariupol steel plant is still under fire. According to a representative of the Azov regiment that fought there, the second “hospital” basement of the site has already been destroyed. This is reported by the Kyiv Independent news portal.

Ukrainian war: new military alliance between Sweden and Great Britain

+++ 2:30 p.m.: Britain forms a military alliance with Sweden with immediate effect. This was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Scandinavia. In this context, he signed a “political declaration of solidarity”. In this document, the states promise to strengthen military relations and help each other in the event of an attack. Britain would also like to sign a similar declaration with Finland. Johnson will then visit Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. Johnson also said Wednesday afternoon that more British troops would be sent to Scandinavia for stability. “This is not a short-term stopgap, but a long-term commitment to strengthen military ties and global stability, as well as to strengthen Europe’s defenses for generations to come,” the prime minister said. .

+++ 2 p.m.: The authorities deployed by Moscow in Kherson want to ask Russia to annex the Ukrainian region. The authorities would make such a request to make the region seized by Russian troops a “full-fledged part of the Russian Federation”, the deputy head of the military and civil administration of Kherson, Kirill Stremusov, told the agencies on Wednesday. Russian press.

+++ 1 p.m.: Russia’s losses in the Ukrainian war are mounting. According to Ukraine, more than 25,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since the start of the war. British experts say the number could be much higher, “up to three to four times” higher, according to Justin Bronk, who works at the independent Royal United Services Institute research institute in Britain. If the losses of the Russian army in the war in Ukraine were to include wounded (and therefore disabled) soldiers, as well as prisoners and missing persons, then the number “after the second two weeks of fierce fighting would certainly be 50 000 to 60,000 victims”. Bronk told Britain’s Daily Mail.

Ukraine war: Medvedev accuses US of proxy war against Russia

+++ 12:00 p.m.: Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president, accused the United States of a proxy war. He referred to the Ukraine aid package approved by the US House of Representatives. It amounts to approximately 40 billion US dollars. The approved package aims to reduce Russia’s influence in the world, Medvedev told Telegram.

+++ 11:30 a.m.: Russia claims to have destroyed more than a dozen command posts and ammunition depots in Ukraine as of Wednesday night. “Rocket forces and artillery units shelled 407 areas with concentrations of troops and military equipment, destroying 13 command posts, 4 Ossa-AKM rocket launcher positions and 14 ammunition depots,” it said. Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov in Moscow.

Ukrainian War: fierce fighting for “Snake Island” in the Black Sea

+++ 11 a.m.: The “Snake Island” in the Black Sea is still disputed. According to an assessment by the British Ministry of Defence, fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops is continuing. As a result, Russia is currently trying to reinforce the troops on the ground. If Russia strengthens its position on the island with strategic anti-aircraft defenses and cruise missiles for coastal defense, it could dominate the northwest Black Sea, according to the morning situation report. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, there are fears that the Russian army wants to take control of the entire Ukrainian Black Sea coast (including the city of Odessa) after “Snake Island”.

Ukrainian War: New Data on Russia’s Heavy Losses

+++ 10:15 a.m.: Russian casualty statistics were again released by the Ukrainian General Staff. According to this, 26,350 Russian army soldiers have been killed in the Ukrainian war so far. According to the staff, this is an estimated value. Information cannot be independently verified. Russia has yet to comment on the latest data. However, significantly lower figures have been reported by the Kremlin in recent weeks, with President Putin surprisingly admitting heavy losses in his May 9 speech.

Ukrainian War: US sends fighter jets to Crete

+++ 09:45: The United States is apparently sending 24 fighter jets to Crete to increase its presence in the eastern Mediterranean. By the end of July, ten US Air Force “F-35” stealth aircraft and 14 “F-15” fighter-bombers are to be moved to a base in West Crete/Souda Bay – with around 500 pilots and technicians. This is reported by the Athenian newspaper Kathimerini, citing circles of the Greek Ministry of Defense. The agreement is based on a new agreement between Greece and the United States. From its location in Crete, the US Air Force can probably operate in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

+++ 09:00: Belarus wants to station special forces in three areas near its southern border with Ukraine. The armed forces said so on Tuesday, while President Alexander Lukashenko highlighted the role of Russian-made missiles in bolstering the country’s defences. As recently as March, Belarus said its armed forces would not take part in what Moscow called a “special operation” to invade Ukraine.

Ukraine war: Russia two weeks late for invasion

+++ 07:45: Putin is two weeks behind his war plans in the Ukrainian Donbass and southern Ukraine. The Pentagon reports. As the Kyiv Independent news portal reports, a senior Defense Ministry official said at a closed press conference on May 10 that Russia is currently about two weeks behind schedule, [Putin] would like to see”.

Ukrainian war: one dead in a Russian attack in the southeast

First assessment of Wednesday, May 11, 6:15 a.m.: At least one person was killed and eight others injured in fresh Russian attacks near the city of Zaporizhia in southeastern Ukraine on Tuesday night. According to the regional administration, mainly residential buildings in Orekhovo were affected, Ukrajinska Pravda reported. Due to the intensity of the shelling, the delivery of humanitarian aid to the city has been temporarily interrupted. The information could not be independently verified.

(dil/ktho/tu/nak/ska mit AFP/dpa)

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