MOSCOW: A Russian war reporter was killed and three were wounded in Ukraine on Saturday in what the defence ministry said was a Ukrainian attack using cluster munitions, prompting outrage from Moscow.
In a separate incident, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle said one of its journalists, Yevgeny Shilko, had been wounded elsewhere in Ukraine in a Russian attack with cluster munitions that killed a Ukrainian soldier. It said his life was not in danger.
Cluster bombs are in the spotlight after Ukraine received supplies of them from the United States this month. Many countries ban them because they rain shrapnel over a wide area and can pose a risk to civilians. Some bomblets typically fail to explode immediately, but can blow up years later. The dead Russian journalist was named as Rostislav Zhuravlev, a war correspondent for state news agency RIA. His three colleagues were evacuated from the battlefield after coming under fire in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, the defence ministry said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced what she called “criminal terror” by Ukraine and said, without providing evidence, that the attack appeared deliberate.
“Those responsible for the brutal reprisal against a Russian journalist will inevitably suffer well-deserved punishment. The entire measure of responsibility will be shared by those who supplied cluster munitions to their Kyiv protgs,” she said.
Ukraine has pledged to use cluster munitions only to dislodge concentrations of enemy soldiers. White House national security spokesman John Kirby said this week that Ukrainian forces were using them appropriately and effectively against Russian formations.s
Published in Dawn, July 23th, 2023