Defense/R&D

Vacuum bombs explained as Russia accused of using the illegal weapon in Ukraine

The Russian army has been accused of using illegal so-called ‘vacuum bombs’ during their invasion of Ukraine.

Very little progress has been made by Russian President Vladimir Putin since launching an invasion on his neighbouring country last Thursday.

And there are now claims that the military have resorted to using vacuum bombs, which have been banned by the Geneva Convention.

The weapons are said to have devastating impacts on civilians, the Mirror reports.

Human rights groups and Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States yesterday accused Russia of attacking Ukrainians with the weapons.

Amnesty International has also accused Russia of using the weapons during an attack on a preschool in northeastern Ukraine as civilians took shelter.

What is a vacuum bomb?

The blast wave from the bomb is significantly longer than that of a conventional explosive.

Vacuum bombs were first developed in the US and in Russia during the 1960s.

In 2007, Russia detonated the largest thermobaric weapon which resulted in a explosion equivalent to 39.9 tonnes.

Officials in the US spent £11m on their version, which was dropped on the Taliban in Afghanistan.

A 300 metre-wide crater was left as a result of the explosion, which was made six feet above the ground.

There has so far been no official confirmation that the bombs have been used in the conflict in Ukraine so far.

On Saturday, a journalist on the ground for CNN reported seeing thermobaric multiple rocket launchers on the Ukrainian border.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that she was aware of the reports but did not have any form of official confirmation that Russia had used such weapons.

She told a press briefing: “If it were true, it would potentially be a war crime.”

The Mirror reports that the Russian embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

Source: Daily Record

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