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Russia accused of using a vacuum bomb in Ukraine. What is it?

WION Web Team
KyivUpdated: Mar 01, 2022, 12:38 PM IST

What is actually a vacuum bomb? (representative image) Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The fuel-air explosives (FAE) were first developed and used in Vietnam by the US, as per a Human Rights Watch report from 2000. The Soviet scientists also developed FAE weapons soon and used them against China in 1969. Since then, a lot of research and development have been done on it. Russians seems to be holding a wide range of third-generation FAE warheads

Ukraine has accused Russia of using vacuum bombs in the ongoing conflict. The Ukraine's ambassador to the United States has made the claim on Monday.    

After meeting with members of the US Congress, Oksana Markarova, Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, told reporters that Russia used a thermobaric weapon, which is known as a vacuum bomb, in the conflict.   

"They used the vacuum bomb today...The devastation that Russia is trying to inflict on Ukraine is large," Markarova said.   

But what is a vacuum bomb? 

It is a weapon, which sucks in oxygen from the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion. It produces a blast wave of a longer duration than that of a conventional explosive and can vaporise human bodies.   

The fuel-air explosives (FAE) were first developed and used in Vietnam by the US, as per a Human Rights Watch report from 2000. The Soviet scientists also developed FAE weapons soon and used them against China in 1969.  

Since then, a lot of research and development have been done on it. Russians seems to be holding a wide range of third-generation FAE warheads. 

There is still no official confirmation about the use of these weapons in the conflict in Ukraine. Numerous international organisations have already condemned these weapons.   

(With inputs from agencies)