Cluster Munition Attacks in Ukraine

The 20-page report, “Intense and Lasting Harm: Cluster Munition Attacks in Ukraine,” details how Russian armed forces have used at least six types of cluster munitions in the international armed conflict in Ukraine.



  • April 18, 2017

    US Authorities’ Failure to Take Adequate Precautions

    This report found that statements by US military authorities after the attack indicate that they failed to understand that the targeted building was a mosque, that prayer was about to begin, and that a religious lecture was taking place at the time of the attack. A proper analysis of the target and its use would probably have established at least some of these elements. Human Rights Watch has not found evidence to support the allegation that members of al-Qaeda or any other armed group were meeting in the mosque.

    video content
    Cover of the Syria Report
  • November 13, 2016

    Iraqi Kurdish Forces' Destruction of Villages, Homes in Conflict with ISIS

    This report looked at destruction of homes between September 2014 and May 2016 in disputed areas of Kirkuk and Nineveh governorates, areas nominally under Iraqi government jurisdiction but under Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) control. The destruction, which took place after KRG Peshmerga forces routed Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters, targeted Arab homes while leaving Kurdish homes intact. KRG leaders have maintained that these are historically Kurdish areas that they intend to incorporate into the Kurdistan region.

    map content
    video content
    Cover of Iraq
  • September 3, 2014

    Key Components and Positive Precedent for Convention on Cluster Munitions Legislation

    This 73-page report urges countries to pass robust national legislation as soon as possible to carry out the provisions of the treaty. The report describes the elements of a comprehensive law and highlights exemplary provisions in existing laws. The report was jointly published with Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.
  • April 10, 2013

    Deliberate and Indiscriminate Air Strikes on Civilians

    This 80-page report is based on visits to 50 sites of government air strikes in opposition-controlled areas in Aleppo, Idlib, and Latakia governorates, and more than 140 interviews with witnesses and victims. The air strikes Human Rights Watch documented killed at least 152 civilians.
  • November 22, 2010

    Protecting Civilians through the Convention on Cluster Munitions

    This book is the culmination of a decade of research by Human Rights Watch. It details the humanitarian toll of cluster munitions, analyzes the international process that resulted in the treaty successfully banning them, and presents the steps that nations that have signed the convention should take to fulfill its promise.

  • April 14, 2009

    Use of Cluster Munitions by Russia and Georgia in August 2008

    This 80-page report is the first comprehensive report on cluster munition use by Russia and Georgia in their week-long conflict over the separatist enclave of South Ossetia. Human Rights Watch field investigations in August, September, and October 2008 documented dozens of civilian deaths and injuries from the use of cluster munitions, including casualties after the fighting ended.

  • May 19, 2008

    Memorandum to Delegates of the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions

    A provision obliging states parties not to assist with prohibited acts is an accepted and essential part of a modern weapons treaty. The draft cluster munitions convention includes such a provision in Article 1(c). Article 1(c) is based on extensive precedent from past weapons treaties and is indispensable to the humanitarian goal of the convention.
  • February 16, 2008

    Israel’s Use of Cluster Munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006

    In this 131-page report, Human Rights Watch found that Israel violated international humanitarian law in its indiscriminate and disproportionate cluster munition attacks on Lebanon. The report provides the most comprehensive and detailed account yet of the nature and impact of Israel’s use of cluster munitions.

  • April 25, 2007

    Briefing Paper Prepared for the ICRC Experts Meeting on Cluster Munitions

    This presentation is an introduction to the wide variety of cluster munitions currently available. The functional characteristics of these munitions as well as estimates of the numbers in current stockpiles are included in the presentation.
  • February 20, 2007

    In armed conflicts around the world, cluster munitions are the category of weapons most in need of stronger national and international law to protect civilians from harm.
  • April 7, 2005

    The potential future dangers of widespread production and continued proliferation of cluster munitions demand urgent action to bring the humanitarian threat under control. At least seventy countries stockpile cluster munitions and the aggregate number of submunitions in these stockpiles is staggering.
  • July 1, 2004

    The Need for Better Compliance and Stronger Rules

    The States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) have long recognized the dangers of cluster munitions. They first questioned the civilian harm these weapons cause at the Lucerne Conference in 1974 that eventually led to the CCW.
  • December 11, 2003

    The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq

    Hundreds of civilian deaths in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq could have been prevented by abandoning two misguided military tactics. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas caused more civilian casualties than any other factor in the coalition´s conduct of major military operations in March and April. U.S.