‘Devastating’ Russian rockets on Ukrainian front: ‘Very little can protect humans from their effects’

The news, relayed in particular by the Russian Ministry of Defense on April 3, is particularly worrying. Units of the airborne forces of the Saratov region, leaving for the front in Ukraine, received “for the first time” TOS-1A thermobaric rocket artillery systems.

“You receive a dangerous weapon that has no equivalent in the arsenals” Westerners, Colonel Alexei Goncharov told them. systems that “cause panic among our enemies”he added, “convinced that their skillful use will bring us closer to victory”. These weapons, deployed as part of nuclear, biological and chemical protection troops rather than regular artillery units of the Russian military, are particularly destructive. Russia is not the only one to have used them in history.

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To the underground shelters

The Ukrainian authorities and NGOs had already accused Moscow of using prohibited cluster munitions, as well as thermobaric bombs on the territory of its neighbor at the start of the conflict – which Moscow has always denied. Gold, l’Institute for Study of War a observé “the deployment of a TOS-1 system near Kreminna no later than April 1”. This Donbass city is occupied by the Russians, who have been trying for months to seize areas of Luhansk Oblast that they do not yet control.

According to Marianne Hanson, an international relations specialist at the University of Queensland, thermobaric munitions are “devastating devices, which create an oxygen-devouring fireball followed by a deadly shock wave”, “much more powerful than most other conventional weapons”. As she shares in an article published on The Conversation websitethese bombs are “effective in urban or open areas, and can enter bunkers and other underground locations, depriving their occupants of oxygen. There are very few things that can protect humans and other life forms from their blast effect and incendiary effect”. Will a new stage in horror be crossed?

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