JUST when you thought things couldn't get any worse in Ukraine they have. How did things get worse? The US has now decided to ship cluster bombs to the Ukrainian government. Pity the Ukrainians. Last year the White House said that the use of cluster munitions deserved to be seen as a war crime. This was because the Russians were using them. Now it's no longer a war crime. This is a perfect example of the US doctrine of "Do as we say not as we do".

111 countries have banned cluster bombs; the US, Russia and Ukraine have not (other nations, like Israel, are not even part of the Convention on Cluster Munitions). We should applaud the UK for signing up to the ban. However, since eastern Ukraine is now a dumping ground for a lot of mostly past its sell-by-date weaponry, the UK jumped at the chance to get rid of some its stockpile of depleted uranium munitions which it recently sold to Kyiv. Both depleted uranium and cluster bombs are still wreaking deadly havoc in Iraq today, where they were used by the US and the UK (and allies) in huge quantities.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky, who was elected on a peace platform (essentially a civil war had been fought since 2014), was apparently open to negotiations with Russia. The US dissuaded him and any talk of a cease fire and peace talks have been vilified since. Escalation and arms sales have been the name of the deadly game. Ukraine needs peace talks not cluster bombs.

Bruce McLeod