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Russia accused of using cluster bombs in eastern Ukraine

Sloviansk Mayor Vadim Lyakh said on messaging service Telegram that Russia has been using banned cluster munitions in attacks on the city of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine, and leading to the deaths of several civilians.

Published July 02,2022
Russia is using banned cluster munitions in attacks on the city of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine, leading to the deaths of at least four people, according to accusations by Ukrainian officials.

The overnight strikes hit civilian areas where there are no military facilities, Sloviansk Mayor Vadim Lyakh wrote on messaging service Telegram. Seven people were also injured, he said.

Cluster munitions are rockets and bombs that burst in the air over a target and release many smaller explosive devices. Their use is illegal under an international convention.

Information from the combat zones in Ukraine is difficult or impossible to independently verify.

The Russian war against Ukraine has now lasted more than four months, with the stated aims of controlling the east and southern parts of the country.

Kyiv said on Saturday that Russian forces were continuing their attacks across a broad front in eastern Ukraine.

In the Kharkiv region near the northern border with Russia, the Russian army is trying to recapture lost positions with the support of artillery, the Ukrainian general staff said.

Explosions were also reported from the Mykolaiv region in the south early on Saturday, although the Ukrainian side had no concrete details.

Two weapons depots near the city of Mykolaiv were among military targets that were destroyed, Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said, according to the TASS news agency.

In the east, a weapons store in a tractor depot near Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, was hit, he said.

In the Donetsk region, a Russian attack was repelled, the Ukrainian side said.

Additionally, pro-Russian separatist forces claim they have fully encircled the embattled city of Lysychansk with help from Russian forces.

Separatist spokesperson Andrey Marochko told the Interfax news agency that "the last strategically important heights" have been taken. Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of the Russian republic of Chechnya, said Russian troops have already reached Lysychansk's centre.

Ukrainian forces spoke of heavy fighting and encircling attempts, but said control of the city is still undecided.

Lysychansk is the last major city in the Luhansk region not under Russian control. Control of the Luhansk region is one of the stated goals of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

There was no comment from Moscow on Ukrainian accusations that Russia had dropped phosphorus bombs on Snake Island in the Black Sea, nor on accusations of firing cluster munitions on residential buildings.

But British intelligence said there are indications that Russia is running out of modern missiles.

Russia was using anti-ship missiles in a "secondary land-attack role, likely because of dwindling stockpiles of more accurate modern weapons," said the British Defence Ministry in its latest intelligence update.

Russia has slammed the regular British reports as propaganda.

British intelligence said the weapon that hit a shopping centre in Kremenchuk on Monday was likely a KH-32 anti-ship missile which is "not optimized to accurately strike ground targets."

The more recent strikes on an apartment block near Odessa likely involved a KH-22 missile, which is even less accurate, it said.