Thermobaric Bombs Used in Ukraine, UK Says

According to the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense, Russia stated it has deployed thermobaric munitions, often known as “vacuum bombs,” against the people of Ukraine. 

A “vacuum bomb” is a type of explosive that generates a high-temperature detonation by using oxygen from the nearby air with thermobaric weapons, according to Fox News.

However, the Pentagon’s communications director said he has seen no evidence that Russia deployed thermobaric munitions in Ukraine on Wednesday afternoon. 


Thermobaric weapons, often known as vacuum bombs, are a form of two-stage munition that can produce massive explosions when detonated. 

The first explosive charge, fired in a rocket or artillery shell, spreads an aerosol similar to evaporated gasoline over the target area. 

Another charge ignites the fog, resulting in a massive explosion and flames, as well as a big pressure wave and suction as the oxygen from the ambient air is sucked up. 

Victims may perish, due to the explosion or the next shock wave, and the resulting vacuum may cause people’s lungs to rupture.

According to a tweet from the British Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense has acknowledged the employment of the TOS-1A munition in Ukraine.

The TOS-1A uses thermobaric rockets, which produce incendiary and explosion effects.

How Extreme is the Bomb?

As per David Johnson, a retired United States Army colonel and principal research scientist at the Rand Corporation, the category of thermobaric weapon that Russian barges in Ukraine are allegedly hauling is the TOS-1A multiple rocket launcher.

This has a range of 2.5 miles and a blast radius of approximately 1,000 feet. As he put it, “almost everything inside would be annihilated.” According to him, “it’s simply a horrific, destructive weapon.” 

As reported on February 28, Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, stated, “the vacuum bomb was utilized today.”

“Russia has now sent TOS-1 launchers to the edges of densely populated regions,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) cautioned on Twitter just two days before that. 

The use of thermobaric weapons on civilian targets serves absolutely no military purpose. It’d be a war crime with the intent of frightening and slaughtering people until they submit.

In an interview with The Guardian, Dr. Marcus Hellyer, a research consultant at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, remarked, “Russia possesses systems that span the entire spectrum, from small tactical weapons to massive air-launched bombs.”

“Those who supported the rebels in the Donbas region have been employing them for several years,” says the official. 

He stated, “they are not banned, even though their effects can be quite awful because they have the effect of generating a vacuum and pulling air from the lungs of defenders.” 

When it comes to Russian operations, one thing they know is Russians are eager to destroy anything and everything.

Ukrainians have taken refuge in some of the cities. As long as this goes on, Russians will use any weapons they can get their hands on, including thermobaric munitions in areas with many people.