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Russia-Ukraine war: Here's a look at some of the weapons being used in conflict

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 15 March 2022, 10:44 IST

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is the largest warfare that Europe has witnessed since World War II, with Russia carrying out multi-pronged invasion across the nation. The Russian forces have pummeled outspread area in Ukraine carrying out airstrikes and has conducted major rocket and artillery bombardments, leading to huge numbers of casualties.

Checkout some of the weapons being used in the conflict:

The Russian forces have plied warplanes and Kalibr (Caliber) cruise missiles to destroy facilities throughout Ukraine. The Kalibr is a precision weaponry, but Ukrainian military facilities and government buildings apparently targeted by those missiles in Kyiv and Kharkiv are located near residential areas, leading to civilian casualties.

The same is relevant to missiles carried by Russian warplanes, which targeted military facilities in attacks that also brought in collateral damage.

To destroy main targets, the Russian military has also used Iskander missiles that have a range of up to 500 kilometers and carry a much more powerful warhead that can destroy massive buildings and some fortified areas. Few Iskander missiles were reportedly launched from the territory of Russian ally Belarus, which has served as a staging ground for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials have accused the Russian forces of indiscriminately bombarding residential areas, schools and hospitals around Ukraine.

Pictures from Ukrainian city of Kharkiv that were verified by The Associated Press displayed what appeared to be a barrage of Russian rockets hitting residential buildings in an attack that killed and wounded many civilians.

Russia’s Grad (Hail), Smerch (Tornado) and Uragan (Hurricane) multiple rocket launchers are designed to fire a salvo of powerful rockets to destroy concentrations of troops or military equipment. Their use against populated areas certainly lead to a large number of casualties and major damage to infrastructure.

The Russian forces also have a wide range of powerful artillery units, which were bizarrely named after flowers, like self-propelled 203-mm Peony and 152-mm Hyacinth and Acacia self-propelled howitzers.

Russia has claimed it was only targeting military bases and infrastructure, but the AP has documented massive damage to civilian infrastructure and residential areas in Kyiv, Kharkiv and numerous other cities and towns across Ukraine.

Russian officials have alleged that Ukrainian forces have widely deployed heavy weapons in residential areas to use civilians as shields, a claim that could not be verified.

The United Nations, human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, stated “most civilian casualties were caused by the use of heavy artillery, multi-launch rocket systems and air strikes in populated areas, with concerning reports of use of cluster munitions striking civilian targets.” She didn’t specify which side may have used them.

Ukraine has accused Russia of using cluster munitions, accusations the Kremlin has dismissed. Such weapons are designed to target enemy troops and weapons over a wide area, and their use in populated areas surely would lead to mass casualties.
Cluster bombs, rockets and artillery shells open in the air, releasing submunitions, or “bomblets,” that are dispersed over a large area and at the same time strike numerious targets.

Beyond the early influence,bomblets have a high rate of failure to explode, posing a long-time threat of killing and maiming people for a long time after they were launched.

Thermobaric weapons have a fuel container and two separate explosive charges, with the first detonating to disperse the fuel particles and the second igniting the dispersed fuel and oxygen in the air, creating a masive blast wave of extreme pressure and heat that causing a partial vacuum in an enclosed space. That makes the weapon particularly deadly for people in an enclosed area.

According to the Pentagon Russian mobile launchers for thermobaric weapons were spotted inside Ukraine, but could not corroborate their use.

Also Read: Ukraine-Russia War: Middle East nations refrain from sanctioning Russia

First published: 15 March 2022, 9:20 IST