KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- It appears Ukraine has been using cluster munitions in Donetsk, according to a new Human Rights Watch report. The human rights organization said their use could be considered a war crime.
"During a week-long investigation in eastern Ukraine, Human Rights Watch documented widespread use of cluster munitions in fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in more than a dozen urban and rural locations," the report says. The organization claims they can confirm the death of an employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on October 2 was in an area that was attacked with cluster munitions. They claim at least six people have died from their use and many more have been injured, and they believe the number is likely much higher.
Cluster munitions are typically weapons that open up in the air to release a large amount of smaller bombs that spread over a wide area of land. Since their target is so undefined, they can often accidentally injure or kill civilians. Many countries have joined an international treaty saying they will not use the weapon, but Ukraine is not one of those countries.
"While not conclusive, circumstances indicate that anti-government forces might also have been responsible for the use of cluster munitions," Human Rights Watch reported, which implies the weapons may have come from Russia.