Ukraine accused Russia of unleashing thermobaric weapons on their forces, as enemy troops made their biggest advancement in weeks in the eastern region of the country Friday.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense shared a video Thursday of explosions that they said were from TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launchers landing on Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk region.
“This is what the largest and most horrific war of the 21st century looks like,” the agency wrote on Twitter.
It was not immediately clear when the bombardment took place.
Thermobaric weapons, sometimes called vacuum bombs, are high-energy explosives that consume oxygen from the air around them. This creates a higher-temperature explosion and a longer-duration, higher-pressure blast wave than a conventional bomb, making it particularly deadly in urban environments.
Meanwhile, Russian forces overnight Friday took the town of Lyman, a railway hub some 35 miles West of Severodonetsk, the last Ukrainian holdout in the Luhansk Oblast.
Invading troops also continued to work to encircle Severodonetsk, while Russian troops shelled the city Friday.
“There are battles on the outskirts of the city. Massive artillery shelling does not stop, day and night,” Mayor Oleksandr Striuk said. “The city is being systematically destroyed — 90% of the buildings in the city are damaged.”
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Striuk said Russian saboteurs had tried to capture the Mir hotel in the city’s northeast quarter, and fighting there was ongoing.
The mayor estimated some 1,500 civilians had died in Severodonetsk since the start of the war, and that many, many more had fled. Striuk said the city was down to about 13,000 people from a peacetime population of 100,000.
In Kharkiv, just west of the Donbas region where a strong Ukrainian counterattack pushed Kremlin forces back to the border less than two weeks ago, Russian shelling has picked up once again.
Ukrainian authorities say four civilians were killed in a fresh round of Russian bombardments in Kharkiv, where a photo shows a man crying on the street beside a dead body Thursday.
With Post wires