What is Vacuum Bomb , how Russia is using it ?

What is Vacuum Bomb , how Russia is using it ?

Russia Ukraine Conflict

Photo by Setyaki Irham on Unsplash

Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops at the Ukrainian border in an act of aggression that might escalate into Europe’s deadliest military clash in decades.

The Kremlin appears to be preparing for war by sending military equipment, medical units, and even blood to the front lines. This week, President Joe Biden stated that Russia had amassed some 150,000 troops near Ukraine. In this context, diplomatic negotiations between Russia and the United States and its allies have failed to achieve any results.

On February 15, Russia announced plans to “partially withdraw troops,” implying that Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to de escalate. Notwithstanding, the circumstance did not improve in the days that followed. Following that announcement, the US said that Putin had increased force levels, and US President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that he is “convinced” that Russia has chosen to attack Ukraine in the coming days or weeks. “We are concerned that they will attack Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital,” Biden said.

As well as the underlying concerns that are fueling this conflict remain unaddressed.

Ukraine’s future is at stake in this battle. However, Ukraine serves as a broader platform for Russia to restore its control over The region and throughout the world, as well as for Putin to cement his legacy. These are not insignificant goals for Putin, and he may decide that the only way to achieve them is to launch another incursion into Ukraine — an act that, at its most aggressive, could result in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, a refugee crisis in Europe, and a response from Western allies that includes harsh economic sanctions.

On Monday, the Ukrainian ambassador to the US accused Russia of using thermobaric weapons in Ukraine, albeit her claim has not been legally validated.

Oksana Markarova told reporters after meeting with US legislators in Washington, “The Russia used the vacuum bomb today, which is actually prohibited by the Geneva Convention.”

What actually is a vacuum bomb?

Vacuum bombs, are a type of two-stage weapon capable of producing large explosions. The first explosive charge, launched from a rocket or artillery shell, disperses an aerosol that resembles evaporated gasoline over the area. A second charge ignites the aerosol fog, resulting in a tremendous explosion, flames, a massive pressure wave, and a vacuum as oxygen from the surrounding air is sucked up.

According to Johnson, thermobaric missiles are sometimes referred to as “poor man’s nuclear weapons” since they have the potential to exterminate all humanity in their path. The explosion or the subsequent shock wave can kill victims, and the resultant vacuum can rupture people’s lungs.

Thermobaric weapons, often known as vacuum bombs, are a form of two-stage munition that produces massive explosions. The initial explosive charge, which is launched in a rocket or artillery shell, distributes an aerosol similar to evaporated gasoline across the region. The aerosol fog is then ignited by a second charge, resulting in a massive blast, flames, a big pressure wave, and a vacuum as oxygen from the surrounding air is sucked up.

The TOS-1A multiple rocket launcher is the sort of thermobaric weapon seen in Russian convoys within Ukraine. It has a range of around 2.5 miles and a blast radius of about 1,000 feet.

How dangerous are these weapons?

Considering the horrific damage that thermobaric weapons may produce, there are no laws prohibiting their use in combat, despite widespread condemnation from civilian organizations. The use of such weapons against civilians, on the other hand, is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions and may amount to war crimes.

“It’s kind of like the neutron bomb: there was no prohibition against it, but everyone just realised how horrible it was and didn’t want it,” Johnson explained.

While it is unclear if Russian forces have deployed vacuum bombs in Ukraine, Johnson believes it is only a matter of time.

Are they being used priorly?

Interfax reported on December 27, 1999, that Russian soldiers were deploying fuel-air explosive bombs in the conflict in Chechnya. The use of fuel-air explosives (FAEs), often known as “vacuum bombs,” in Russia, signals a grave escalation in the Chechnya war, with significant humanitarian ramifications. FAEs are more powerful than equivalent conventional high-explosive weapons, are more likely to kill and harm individuals in bunkers, shelters, and caves, and kill and hurt in a particularly harsh manner over a large area. It is extremely difficult to confine the effect of this weapon to fighters in urban areas, and the nature of FAE explosions makes it nearly impossible for bystanders to seek cover from their catastrophic effect.

According to a Russian military scientist who wrote for the Russian military magazine Voyennyye Znaniya (Military Knowledge), FAE weapons are effective against exposed personnel, combat equipment, fortified areas and individual defensive fortifications, clearing passages in minefields, clearing landing sites for helicopters, destroying communication centers, and neutralizing strongholds in city house-to-house fighting. Furthermore, he added that “”Fuel-air explosives are capable of entirely destroying vegetation and agricultural crops that have been sown in a specific region.” It has the same destructive capacity as low-yield nuclear weapons.”

When used in large numbers, fuel-air explosives and other blast weapons may be extremely devastating. When numerous FAE warheads are exploded, the blast waves reinforce one other, enhancing the destructive strength. Blast weapons are twelve to sixteen times more damaging than conventional high explosives against targets with vast surface surfaces, such as frame structures, bunkers, and vehicle shelters, when used in buildings and other confined locations.

Up to this point, the Russian military is said to have deployed FAE bombs against the Dagestani settlement of Tando in August 1999, and more recently in Chechnya’s southern foothills.

Russia is suspected of deploying the bomb at Okhtyrka, Sumy Oblast, Ukraine. Photos and videos of the claimed impact have been shared on social media.

Two days later, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, delivered a statement to the UN General Assembly in which she made similar claims and urged Russia to end its conflict.

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