UKRAINE has received cluster bombs, less than a week after the United States said it would donate the controversial weapons to assist in the fight against Russia.
The munitions are banned in more than 100 countries as unexploded “bomblets” can linger on the ground — detonating years later on civilians.
Spokesman for the southern Ukraine military command, Valeryi Shershen, confirmed the news today.
The White House had held off sending them to Kyiv over fears of harming the innocent.
But US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said they are “necessary” owing to Russia’s use of the weapons.
He added: “Ukraine would not be using these munitions in some foreign land.
“This is their country they’re defending.”
The US announced on July 7 that it would send Ukraine the controversial weapons, which can release large numbers of smaller bombs over a great area.
Ukraine has said it will use the weapons to “de-occupy” its territory and will not use them in urban areas.
Human rights groups have urged Ukraine not to use the cluster bombs and the US not to supply them.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “Cluster munitions scatter small bomblets over a wide area, many of which fail to explode immediately.
“They can kill and maim years later.
“That’s why use should stop immediately.”
Russia previously used the killer bombs early in the war, killing 47 and destroying a school.
Terrified mothers and children were forced to take shelter in the basement of the hospital in a residential area of Zhytomyr.
Chilling video filmed in the aftermath showed bodies strewn across the streets in one of the hardest-hit regions of the conflict.
Windows were shattered in the blast, while burned-out cars scattered the road following the strike.
The delivery of the deadly weapons to Ukraine comes as Russia is facing upheaval in the highest ranks of its military.
Haunting footage was revealed yesterday of the moment a high ranking Russian naval captain was murdered while on a run.
Many believe a purge by Putin has begun after three of his top advisers have gone missing.
In the fallout of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted “coup”, Kremlin hotshots have been mysteriously and systematically disappearing – sparking panic the purge is on.