Russian Use Of Thermobaric Weapons In Ukraine Confirmed

As reported by the British Ministry of Defense, Russia indeed confirmed that it has made use of thermobaric weapons, also commonly called “vacuum bombs,” against the Ukrainian people. A”vacuum bomb” makes use of oxygen from the surrounding area to create an intense high-temperature explosion. It generates “a blast wave that lasts far longer than conventional explosives,” highlighted Fox News, adding, “Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, meanwhile, said Wednesday afternoon that he has seen ‘no indications’ that Russia has used thermobaric weapons in Ukraine.”

It was explained more in-depth by NBC News:

Thermobaric weapons, or vacuum bombs, are a type of two-stage munition that create enormous explosions. Launched in a rocket or artillery shell, the first explosive charge spreads an aerosol akin to vaporized gasoline over the area. A second charge then ignites the aerosol fog, creating a huge blast, flames, a large pressure wave and a vacuum as oxygen from the surrounding air is sucked up. … Victims can be killed by the blast or the accompanying shock wave, and the subsequent vacuum can rupture people’s lungs.

This past Wednesday, the British Ministry of Defense stated in a release that “The Russian MoD has confirmed the use of the TOS-1A weapon system in Ukraine. The TOS-1A uses thermobaric rockets, creating incendiary and blast effects.”

As stated by a retired U.S. Army colonel and a principal researcher at the Rand Corporation, David Johnson, the particular type of thermobaric weapon that has allegedly been used by Russian convoys in Ukraine is the TOS-1A multiple rocket launcher which sports a range of 2.5 miles and an effective blast radius of about 1,000 feet. He went on to state, “Everything inside that would be vaporized, essentially.” He added, “It’s just a horrible, devastating weapon.”

Back on the 28th of February, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, stated to reporters, “They used the vacuum bomb today.”

Almost two days before that, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) put forth the warning via Twitter, “#Russia has now deployed TOS-1 launchers to the outskirts of heavily populated areas …  Thermobaric weapons against civilian targets have zero military purpose … It would be a war crime aimed at terrorizing & slaughtering people into submission.”

One senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Dr. Marcus Hellyer, stated according to The Guardian, “Russia has systems right across the spectrum … from quite small tactical weapons, to huge, air-launched bombs. The separatists that Russia was supporting in the Donbas region, they have been using them for a number of years now.” he went on. “They are not illegal even though their effects can be pretty horrific, because of that effect of creating a vacuum and sucking the air out of the lungs of defenders. … One of the things we know about Russian tactics is that they are willing to destroy everything. … It’s clear that the Ukrainians are hunkering down in some of the cities … as that continues the Russians are going to resort more and more to using … whatever weapons they have including thermobaric weapons in built-up urban areas.”

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