Use of cluster munitions reported after attack on Luhansk in Russian-controlled Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine War News

Information about the victims is becoming clearer after airstrikes caused a fire in the occupied city in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian-controlled city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine has been the target of repeated airstrikes, according to local officials who reported the use of cluster munitions that have been banned in many countries.

The two airstrikes in three hours early Tuesday followed at least three attacks on Luhansk and nearby areas in recent weeks by the Ukrainian military, mainly targeting fuel storage depots.

Leonid Pasechnik, the Russian-installed governor of the Luhansk region, said the first attack around 9 p.m. (18:00 GMT) was carried out with cluster munitions and that fires broke out as a result of the attack.

He said information about the victims was being clarified.

Ukraine and Russia have been criticized for their battlefield use of cluster munitions, which have been banned by many countries due to the long-term risks they pose to civilians.

The United States, which supplies cluster munitions to Ukraine, has said Ukrainian forces are using them “effectively” in their counteroffensive against the Russian invasion.

Al Jazeera could not independently confirm accounts from the battlefield or the weapon used.

Injuries and fires reported after strikes

Russia’s TASS news agency, citing emergency services, said injuries had been reported after Tuesday’s attacks.

Ukrainian media and war bloggers published an image of what they described as a large fire in the city.

A Russian Foreign Ministry official said a second attack hit the city at midnight, apparently in the same area.

Rodion Miroshnik, the ministry’s special ambassador, said city residents had heard two explosions in the same district where the first attack occurred.

“It cannot be ruled out that the new attack occurred in the place where rescue teams are dealing with the consequences of the previous missile attack,” Miroshnik wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian media said the target of the second attack was an airfield and posted video of a fire spreading over a wide area.

Ukraine made no official comment on any of the incidents.

Russia annexed the Luhansk region several months after its February 2022 invasion, along with three other regions, although it does not fully control any of them.

Much of Luhansk has been occupied since 2014, when Russian-backed separatists seized swaths of territory in eastern Ukraine.

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