vacuum bombs  | 

Fears Putin could unleash hellish rockets that 'kill you from the inside out'

There are reports the missiles have entered Ukraine but have not been used yet

An apartment building damaged following a rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Arpan Rai©

Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine could likely escalate if Vladimir Putin uses thermobaric weapons to flatten the former Soviet territory, worried experts have warned.

Thermobaric weapons are considered to be one of the most brutal war weapons that exist.

The missiles are filled with a highly explosive fuel and chemical mix, which, on exploding can cause supersonic blast waves that can obliterate everything in its path, including buildings and humans. They are also known as aerosol bombs or vacuum bombs.

The use of these weapons will lead to “indiscriminate violence”, western officials have warned, according to The Telegraph.

Peter Lee of the University of Portsmouth, explained how these bombs work in 2016, after Russia allegedly used them in Syria.

“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,” he wrote.

Only blasts caused by nuclear attacks are worse. Russia has allegedly used these missiles in Chechnya and Syria.

Other reports suggested that the missiles – TOS-1 series thermobaric multiple-barrel rocket launchers – are believed to have entered Ukraine, but have not been put to use.

“Broad range of military equipment seen in RUS [Russian] invasion, including TOS-1 series thermobaric multiple-barrel rocket launchers. Whilst strikes have been relatively limited thus far, the TOS-1 has potential for serious HR [human rights] violations, especially given RUS [Russia] use history (e.g., Chechnya),” said NR Jenzen-Jones, an arms and artillery intelligence specialist.

Visuals released on social media confirmed that the most common thermobaric weapon seen entering Ukraine is the 46-ton TOS-1A Solntsepek (Burning Sun) self-propelled rocket launcher, reported

Some have warned that firing thermobaric missiles will be hugely risky for Russia also.

“To use these on Ukrainian civilians – apart from fact it is wholly barbaric – will be hugely risky as a strategy for #Putin. A brief brutal win does not translate into a long term win here. #Ukraine,” said The Evening Standard’s columnist Emily Sheffield.

Russian forces have launched coordinated missile and artillery attacks on Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, in Europe’s worst conflict in decades that was launched by Vladimir Putin on Thursday. As the world watched events unfold with shock and horror after Mr Putin’s announcement on Thursday, leaders condemned the invasion and imposed sanctions against Russia.

Heavy street fighting against Russian troops is underway in Kyiv on Saturday as officials urged locals to take immediate shelter. Kyiv was struck by two missiles. As many as 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed since the invasion began.

Today's Headlines

More World News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos