- Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, claimed Moscow had used a thermobaric weapon known as a vacuum bomb.
- A vacuum bomb is a non-nuclear bomb known as the father of all bombs.
- Russia made this bomb in 2007.
As the fighting rages in and around Kyiv, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States and human rights organizations have accused Russia of employing cluster bombs and vacuum bombs on Ukrainians. Several international organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have condemned the weaponry.
According to the organizations, Russian soldiers appeared to have used widely banned cluster munitions, with Amnesty accusing them of striking a preschool in northern Ukraine while civilians sought refuge inside. Meanwhile, Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, said that Moscow had deployed a thermobaric weapon known as a vacuum bomb.
“Today, they used the vacuum bomb. The destruction that Russia is attempting to wreak on Ukraine is massive.
“According to the ambassador, The Ukrainian claims have yet to be verified on the ground. Reuters cited White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki as saying, “If that were accurate, it could constitute a war crime.” President Joe Biden’s administration “would try to be a part of that dialogue,” she said, noting that international organizations would analyse the situation.
Weapons have been upgraded in tandem with technological advancements and the fast-paced nature of the battle. While conventional guns use explosives to hurl metal shards at targets, a new type of ammunition focuses on blast as its principal output. Thermobaric weapons are one example of a weapon that uses the effects of temperature and pressure on a target.
A vacuum bomb (Father of all bombs), also known as a thermobaric weapon, draws oxygen from the surrounding air of 300 mt. to produce a high-temperature explosion with a blast wave that lasts much longer than a typical explosive and can vaporize humans.
It is a two-stage munition, with the first charge dispersing aerosols made up of excellent material ranging from carbon-based fuel to microscopic metal particles.
The second charge ignites the cloud, causing a shock wave that absorbs oxygen and creates a vacuum around the target. Experts have warned that a vacuum bomb’s explosion wave lasts much longer than regular explosives.
Launching indiscriminate assaults that kill or hurt civilians is a war crime. According to Amnesty International, international humanitarian law prohibits the use of inherently indiscriminate weapons, such as cluster munitions.
According to Dr Marcus Hellyer, the senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, while vacuum bombs will not penetrate, Dr Marcus Hellyer, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute senior analyst.
“They aren’t prohibited, although their effects can be quite awful, due to the impact of generating a vacuum and sucking the air out of defenders’ lungs.” Dr Hellyer continued, “One thing we know about Russian methods is that they are willing to destroy everything.”
Edited by: Kiran Maharana
Published by: Vishakha Verma