As the war continues in Ukraine, the country's officials have now accused Russia of using cluster and vacuum bombs against them. The banned artillery, stated numerous human rights groups and Ukraine's ambassador to the United States of America (USA), had been used on Monday (February 28) in parts that included civilians.
As the Ukraine-Russia conflict escalated and President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilisation of his nuclear forces in the past few days, there have been growing concerns that the vacuum bomb - considered to be the world's most powerful non-nuclear bomb - could come to be a part of the raging war. TimesNow quoted a CNN report from last week as saying, one of its teams had witnessed a Russian thermobaric multiple rocket launcher near the Ukrainian border.
What Is A Vacuum Bomb?
Widely regarded as the 'father of all bombs', the thermobaric weapon sucks in all the oxygen from the nearby air to create an explosion at high temperatures. Furthermore, it also has the capability to produce a blast wave of a notably longer duration than that generated by a conventional explosive and has the capability of vaporising human bodies.
However, Vladimir Putin-led Russia is yet to comment on the allegations. Numerous reports also quoted Ukraine's ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, as informing reporters about the use of a vacuum bomb. Meanwhile, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have stated that the Russian army appeared to be using widely banned cluster munitions. Furthermore, Amnesty further called out Moscow for attacking a preschool in northeastern Ukraine while civilians were taking shelter inside it.
Putin Put Russia's Strategic Forces On "High Alert"
After four days of the ongoing Ukraine invasion of Russia, President Putin gave orders to place all of Russia's strategic forces on "high alert". Russia also owns one of the biggest arsenals of nuclear warheads of any nation, although the US has more deployed, or immediately usable, warheads. While the exact number remains unknown, the SIPRI peace research institute in Stockholm has counted 6,255 Russian warheads against 5,550 for the US. China follows far behind with 350 and France with 290.
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