Russia Shows Off Multiple Rocket Launcher Vehicle That Can Shoot Thermobaric Warheads
These images allegedly show Russia showing off a multiple rocket launcher vehicle that can shoot thermobaric warheads.
Russia showed off the weapon, with the video footage allegedly showing it in action somewhere in Ukraine. Russia claimed that it destroyed Ukrainian targets.
The images allegedly show the weapon firing a salvo of missiles, with the footage then cutting to explosions.
The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), along with a statement on Thursday, June 30, claiming that the clip shows “the combat work of Western Military District personnel operating a heavy TOS-1A ‘Solntsepek’ missile system.”
The Russian MoD also claimed: “Heavy TOS-1A ‘Solntsepyok’ systems are designed for fire support of infantry, tanks, the destruction of open and closed firing positions in various types of offensive and defensive combat, as well as for disabling lightly armored vehicles.”
A thermobaric weapon is a kind of explosive that, using oxygen from the air, generates a very high temperature that can reach 3,000 degrees Celsius (5,400 degrees Fahrenheit).
We contacted the Russian MoD for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, but haven’t received a reply at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation.” June 30 marks the 127th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 30, Russia had lost about 35,600 personnel, 1,573 tanks, 3,726 armored combat vehicles, 790 artillery units, 246 multiple launch rocket systems, 104 air defense systems, 217 warplanes, 185 helicopters, 641 drones, 143 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,602 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 61 units of special equipment.
NATO leaders have called Russia “the most significant and direct threat to allies’ security and stability,” and announced a new “strategic concept” in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
NATO is planning to boost its quick reaction forces from 40,000 troops to over 300,000 troops.
President Joe Biden announced that the United States will increase its military forces across Europe.
NATO has also formally invited Sweden and Finland to become members of the alliance. The move comes after Turkey agreed to support Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership.
Turkey had initially opposed the countries’ bids to join the military alliance, accusing both of harboring Kurdish militants.
But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson at the NATO summit in Madrid and the three countries reached an agreement.
Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-General, said: “I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.” NATO leaders have also pledged additional support to Kyiv, with the aim of modernizing Ukraine’s defense sector.
President Biden congratulated the three countries, saying: “Congratulations to Finland, Sweden, and Turkey on signing a trilateral memorandum – a crucial step toward a NATO invite to Finland and Sweden, which will strengthen our Alliance and bolster our collective security – and a great way to begin the Summit.”
President Putin said: “If Finland and Sweden wish to, they can join. That’s up to them. They can join whatever they want.”
But the Russian leader added: “If military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us.”
The Russian strike on a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk has been described by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as one of the “most brazen terrorist acts in European history.”
Over 1,000 people are said to have been inside the building when it was hit by missiles. Eighteen people have so far been confirmed dead.
Speaking about the Russian strike on the crowded shopping mall, Putin claimed: “Our army does not attack any civilian infrastructure site. We have every capability of knowing what is situated where.”
Russia claimed on Tuesday, June 28, that it had hit a nearby weapons depot, with the explosion sparking the shopping mall blaze.
President Zelenskyy has urged the United Nations to visit the site and has demanded that Russia be expelled as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, accusing the country of having become a “terrorist state.”
Ukraine has said that it has completed the biggest prisoner exchange with Russia since the beginning of the war, with 144 of its soldiers released. They include 95 soldiers who defended the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.