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US delivery of cluster bombs to Ukraine an 'act of desperation': Ex-US intelligence officer

Scott Ritter, former US Marine intelligence officer

Former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter has said that Washington's decision to provide Ukraine with globally-banned cluster bombs is "an act of desperation." 

Ritter said that "Ukraine is running out of ammunition and the United States and Europe have not been able to come up with the resources necessary to change that (situation)." 

"So in act of desperation, because that is what this is, desperation, the United States has agreed to release its war reserve stocks of the Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions," he added. 

Ritter made the remarks during an interview with Press TV on Thursday. He pointed to the warning that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued last fall on Ukraine's running out of ammunition in summer.

The US announced on July 7 it would send Kiev cluster munitions as part of an $800-million security package intended to help Ukrainian forces against Russia, despite concerns over the long-term risk posed to civilians by bomblets that fail to explode.

US President Joe Biden said last week that the decision to provide the munitions was "very difficult," but that Ukrainian forces were "running out of ammunition."

According to Ritter, however, the delivery of the controversial munitions will not be to the benefit of Ukraine.

"These weapons will make Ukraine weaker for two reasons. One, there will be less impact than a conventional high explosive round. They will have a less destructive impact on the Russians. Two, they are going to prompt a Russian counter-measure which is going to be in the form of improved cluster munitions used by the Russians," he warned.

"The Russians currently have a ten-fold superiority in artillery over the Ukrainians. Ukraine is about to find itself saturated with cluster bomb units which is going to result in higher casualty rates on the part of the Ukrainians and less efficiency on the battlefield," he added.

Ritter added that the United States and its allies had failed to provide Ukraine with the promised weapons and munitions to overpower the Russian side.

He referred to Ukraine’s General Valery Zaluzhny, who also said the US-led Western states had "not lived up to their promises" in terms of logistically supporting Kiev's forces, saying that the military official had already pointed out the country’s defeat against Russian forces.

"The counter-offensive that has already failed will only fail even further," Ritter said, claiming that experts claimed that in comparison to Ukraine, the Russians have sufficient resources and “they are enjoying an 8 to 1 or 10 to 1 kill advantage.”

“If this war continues on this trajectory, Russia will achieve a strategic military victory by the end of summer or early fall,” he said, adding that this is the reality that the US and NATO are coming to grips with that Ukraine is losing troops, weapons and munitions at a rate that it cannot replace either.

The analyst claimed that the Russians, on the other hand, were sitting on good reserve in terms of fresh troops and military equipment that it will summon at the necessary time in the future.

"The Russians are defeating the Ukrainian military hands down... the whole world is recognizing this, and this is why I think you are seeing a drift towards a political solution to this problem because there is no military solution that will come out to the benefit of either NATO or Ukraine or the United States," he said.

Ritter also noted that "sooner or later the American taxpayer is going to get tired of this ... and a political decision will be made to disengage."

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ritter said Ukraine and its President Volodymyr Zelensky are endorsing "Nazi ideology."

"We have embraced a regime, the Zelensky regime, that has endorsed the ideology of Stepan Bandera, Nazi ideology," the US-based military expert and author said, adding that this was the ideology that the United States had fought against alongside its Soviet allies. 

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