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What Are Thermobaric Missiles, As Putin Stands Poised To Release 'Brutal' Weapon

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What Are Thermobaric Missiles, As Putin Stands Poised To Release 'Brutal' Weapon

Thermobaric missiles have reportedly been seen travelling from Russia towards Ukraine.

Putin is said to have used these missiles in Chechnya and Syria, and their use now in Ukraine would cause 'indiscriminate violence', officials say.

The rockets contain a mixture of highly explosive fuel and chemicals, and upon detonation send out supersonic blast waves that can tear through buildings.

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According to reports, the Russian Tos-1 Buratino weapons have been sighted travelling into Ukraine, though they have not yet been used.

Thermobaric bombs were developed in the 1960s by both the United States and the Soviet Union. Nicknamed the 'father of all bombs', they work by sucking oxygen out of the surrounding air to create an extremely high-temperature explosion, iNews reports. Also known as 'vacuum bombs', they can cause extensive damage to both buildings and human life.

Russia reportedly detonated the largest thermobaric bomb ever made in 2007, resulting in an explosion equivalent to 39.9 tons.

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The US is said to have dropped a thermobaric missile, weighing 21,600 pounds, on the Taliban in 2017, leaving a crater more than 300m wide.

On Friday, February 25, officials voiced serious concern that Putin would resort to the use of such weaponry, The Telegraph reports. One official said they were 'very concerned at the attitude [Russian forces] would adopt' if the Ukraine resistance continued to thwart their plans.

According to the UK's Ministry of Defence, the 'speed of Russian advance has temporarily slowed', and is believed to be 'as a result or acute logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance'.

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The MoD also believes the capture of the Ukraine capital, Kyiv, 'remains Russia's primary military objective'.

Western allies believe the thermobaric weapons could be deployed if Ukraine continues to hold up the Russian advance. Officials say the Russian forces did not accomplish many of their objectives on day one of the invasion.

'My fear would be that if they don’t meet their timescale and objectives they would be indiscriminate in their use of violence.

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'They don’t adhere to the same principles of necessity and proportionality and rule of law that Western forces do,' a spokesperson said.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, World News, Ukraine, Russia

Charlie Cocksedge
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