Footage from South of Belgorod purportedly shows a Russian TOS-1 heavy flamethrower thermobaric missile launcher, one of the most brutal weapons to exist, travelling along a road near the Ukrainian border. The footage captured by CNN journalist Frederik Pleitgen shows clear ‘Z’ war markings on the deadly weapon, the same symbol seen on scores of other Russian military hardware, suggesting it could be bound for war in Ukraine.
The missiles are filled with a highly explosive fuel and chemical mix that can cause supersonic blast waves – obliterating everything in its path.
The weapons are also known as aerosol bombs and more concerningly, vacuum bombs.
Western officials have warned the use of TOS-1 “Buratino” and TOS-1A “Solntsepek” weapons will lead to “indiscriminate violence”, according to The Telegraph.
Writing in 2016, Peter Lee of the University of Portsmouth said Russia had allegedly used them in Syria and issued a terrifying warning of what they are capable of.
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He wrote: “Imagine taking a deep breath then submerging yourself in water.
“Then imagine having all of the oxygen forced instantaneously from your body.
“Try to inhale again. But instead of cold water filling your lungs, toxic, flammable particles start killing you from the inside out.”
While Sebastian Roblin, a military expert, writing for 19fortyfive.com, said: “A TOS-1 rocket barrage will wipe out everything within the 200-by-300m blast zone.”
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Reports from Saturday suggest heavy resistance being thrown up by both the Ukrainian army and volunteers who have put themselves forward to defend their country.
On Friday Ukraine’s Government said over 18,000 guns had been handed to civilians as they remove an age limit to call on anyone of any age to come forward and take up arms to defend Ukraine from the Russian onslaught.