Russia was accused in the early days of the invasion of Ukraine of deploying thermobaric weapons in their efforts to eliminate Ukraine‘s defence forces. Thermobaric bombs, also known as vacuum bombs, exploit oxygen from the deflagration zone to generate high-temperature explosions capable of disintegrating everything in its surroundings. Their use against civilians are banned under the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
Moscow’s soldiers have now been claimed to be boasting about deploying the devastating weapons in the occupied Donetsk region after footage emerged showing a bloc of flats in Pisky being destroyed.
Aerial footage shows a set of buildings being targeted by shelling, with the deflagration resulting in a bright explosion and billowing smoke.
A close-up of the video reveals the area was previously targeted as the bloc of flats appears heavily damaged as the strikes.
Debris can be seen being flung into the surrounding area as white smoke begins to rise towards the sky.
Six additional explosions, which were seemingly sparked by an equivalent number of strikes, can then be seen across the whole residential area.
Ukraine publication Obozrevatel reported Russia has been using a TOS-1A “Sonstepok” heavy flamethrower system to shell the village.
They claimed Pisky was “completely destroyed” under the heavy fire of Russia’s weapons.
According to the paper, Moscow’s soldiers have been bragging about the onslaught on the village on social platforms.
A Russian account sharing footage of the bombing wrote: “We have already told you about the characteristics of the TOS-A1 ‘Sontsepok’, it’s time to show it in action.”
Ukraine drove Russian forces back from the capital Kyiv in March and from the outskirts of the second-largest city Kharkiv in May.
Russia then captured territory in the east in huge battles that killed thousands of troops on both sides in June.
Kyiv said it is preparing a big push to recapture the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the main slice of territory captured since the start of the invasion in February.
Moscow has been reinforcing these regions, but defence depends on supply lines to stock forces accustomed to firing thousands of shells a day.
Kyiv hopes the arrival last month of US rocket systems capable of hitting logistics targets behind the front line could tip the balance in its favour.
However, the West has been holding off on providing longer-range rockets that could strike deep in Russia itself or hit Moscow’s many bases in annexed Crimea.