Turkey in at the end of 2022 handed over cluster artillery munitions to Ukraine. This is reported by Foreign Policy magazine, citing American and European officials.
According to the publication, earlier Kyiv unsuccessfully tried to negotiate such supplies with the United States. We are talking about advanced dual-use conventional munitions (DPICM), which were produced in Turkey under an agreement with the United States during the Cold War. They are designed to destroy armored vehicles – when fired, each of them shatters into 88 smaller ammunition.
Cluster weapons are prohibited by an international convention adopted in 2010, but Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and Russia have not joined it.
According to sources of the publication, Ankara has been trying to hide the transfer of cluster munitions to Kyiv for several months. After the US denied Ukraine access to them, Turkey became the only place where Kyiv could get them. American laws prohibit the export of DPICM due to the high proportion of non-explosive ordnance, which can pose a danger to civilians for many years to come.
Journalists report that the shipment of ammunition began in November, but it is not yet clear whether they are used already on the battlefield.
“This shows that Turkey, while trying to please Russia in some areas, is providing Ukraine with very important military support,” one of the sources said.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense did not respond to Foreign Policy's request for comment on cluster munition shipments.
According to human rights organizations, the Russian army repeatedly used cluster munitions in attacks on Ukraine, which led to significant casualties, including among the civilian population.
According to the Human Rigths Watch report, Ukraine also used this type of ammunition, but Russia used them more often, including against civilian targets. The Russian Defense Ministry denies this. An Amnesty International report speaks of the deaths of hundreds of Kharkiv residents from such ammunition.