HORRIFYING new video shows flesh-eating thermite bombs raining down on a Ukrainian village as desperate Putin steps up his attacks on civilians.
Terrifying footage shows the night sky in Ozerne village in the Donetsk region lit up by a chilling rain of sparkling, burning thermite – a killer chemical mixture.
The drone footage was geolocated in Ozerne, which stands just a few kilometers from the frontline and was liberated on September 4.
The chilling 12 second video was posted on Twitter by Ukrainian MP Roman Hryshchuk, who commented: “This is horrible”.
Experts from the Ukrainian Military Centre claim Russian troops are able to launch the 9M22S incendiary munition that use a thermite mixture using BM-21 Grad or BM-30 Smerch multiple rocket launchers from their ground positions, as part of their defense strategy.
Indeed, while thermite may only have a limited impact on military targets, its is a weapon with wide area effects.
The new video evidence comes as the Vladimir Putin has been accused of ramping up attacks against civilians as he loses grip on his bloody invasion of Ukraine.
This week, the Ukrainian army announced it had made huge gains and consolidating positions across the Oskil river – which represents the last natural obstacle before the border with Donetsk.
Russian troops’ ‘panic’
The Ukrainian counter-offensive – bolstered by Western-supplied weaponry – comes as demoralised Russian troops have withdrawn in “panic” from their positions along the River Oskil, according to local newspaper The Kyiv Independent.
Those fleeing have left behind hundreds of vehicles and machinery, and potentially thousands of casualties.
Lawmakers this week announced that soldiers could face 10 years in gulag if they desert, surrender or loot, Ria Novosti wrote on messaging app Telegram.
A proposal presented to the Duma stated failure to comply would result in giving “the military from 2 to 3 years in prison for refusing to participate in hostilities, and if it caused serious consequences – from 3 to 10 years.”
This new proposal comes as a new intercept released by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry showed that the Russian command in Donetsk Oblast has forbidden its troops to retreat – under the threat of being shot.
As was the case in Ozerne, every 9M22S missile carries a 9H510 warhead – formed of 180 incendiary combat elements used to destroy enemy manpower and equipment by creating mass fires, as well as direct hits.
Thermite, a mixture of metal powder and metal oxide, is used in the making of incendiary bombs.
It burns at temperatures of more than 2,400C – being so hot it can burn through steel and concrete.
And if it comes into contact with human flesh, it can melt through right down to the bone.
Human Rights Watch previously warned the deadly weapon can cause extremely painful burns on the human skin and can lead to respiratory problems.
The bombs use is significantly dangerous as their wide area of range means they cannot be contained on the battlefield – and its effects could hit civilians.
The use of thermite as an incendiary weapon is nowadays considered a war crime.
Its use was banned by the third protocol of the 1980 UN Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva.
“It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons,” the Convention’s Article 2 reads.
This comes less than a week after Ukraine uncovered a mass grave of over 440 people in the north-eastern city of Izyum that was recaptured as part of the operation.
Though it’s not confirmed Russian troops were behind the executions, Ukraine said it was further evidence of “war crimes” committed by Russian forces.
On Monday, Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said: “It’s a lie.”
Oleg Synegubov, governor of the Kharkiv region, said on Monday: “Some of the dead have signs of violent death, there are bodies with tied hands and traces of torture. The deceased were also found to have mine-explosive injuries, shrapnel and stab wounds.”
The vast majority of those found were said to be civilians, including many children.
Russia’s army has been almost totally pushed out of Ukraine’s north-eastern Kharkiv region since Ukraine started its latest counter-offensive to regain territory.
“Luhansk region is right next door. De-occupation is not far away,” Haidai wrote on Telegram.
As Russia continues to lose ground, separatist leaders of four Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine have announced they are planning to hold elections on whether to join Russia.
As part of the Kremlin’s desperate efforts to swallow up Donetsk and Luhansk (Donbas), Kherson and partially Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia, residents will vote in a move that could “irreversibly” redefine Russia’s borders.
This could be seen as a stepping stone for Russia to mobilise more personnel should the provinces agree to the annexation.