When Russia’s top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov called on television to attack Kiev and Odessa with TOS-1A “Solncepek” (burning sun) thermobaric systems, Vasil Vakarov, whom the television reported as a political scientist, expressed his dismay.
A new, devastating “Scorching Sun” is headed for Ukraine. Solovyov scares even his own people with it Video: Reuters, Aktuálně.cz/Youtube/Rossija 1
“I’m against it, I don’t see it as a solution, this is wrong, there has to be another way,” said Vakarov excitedly. “What did God do to Sodom and Gomorrah? He destroyed them with fire and brimstone. Zelenskyi and the people around him will burn in hell,” Solovyov countered.
Meanwhile in Russia: top state TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyov claims that God had chosen Russia to be the weapon of his judgment. Solovyov advocates for the continued use of thermobaric weapons, demanding more blood and destruction. https://t.co/lEA6H5AA2X
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) April 4, 2023
The Russian military said on Monday that its airborne troops had received TOS-1A deliveries for the first time. The Ministry of Defense wrote on the Telegram social network that it was a “weapon that causes panic”, adding that paratroopers from the southwestern Saratov region headed for Ukraine had received the latest version of the “Solncepek”.
“You are getting a formidable weapon that has no parallel in the arsenals of the collective West,” the Russian Ministry of Defense quoted Colonel Alexei Goncharov as saying. It is the first time in their history that the paratroopers received what Moscow calls a “heavy flamethrower”, writes the American server Newsweek.
Russia has been using thermobaric rocket launchers since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The TOS-1A has a maximum range of 5.6 km and is able to prepare for combat within a minute and a half, according to Russian state media and defense equipment exporter Rosoboronexport.
Defense against the “Burning Sun? Destroy it before it fires
“The impact of the TOS-1A is devastating,” the British Ministry of Defense said. “It can destroy infrastructure and cause significant internal organ damage and flash burns, which can result in the death of those affected.”
The rockets are equipped with a thermobaric warhead weighing 100 kg. The warhead consists of two charges and an inflammable charge. The first charge, which explodes at a predetermined height, disperses the flammable mass into the surroundings, where it forms a highly explosive aerosol cloud together with the air.
In a fraction of a second, another charge initiates the resulting mixture, resulting in an explosion that has significantly higher energy than conventional explosives. This creates a massive pressure wave with enormous destructive power. The entire destructive effect is amplified by the vacuum of air that forms behind the pressure wave as a result of the rapid cooling of hot gases.
“The use of the TOS-1A often creates an extremely powerful shock wave that can shatter buildings. These weapons can be very effective,” military expert David Hambling previously told Newsweek, adding that this characteristic helps identify when thermobaric weapons have been used.
These launchers were once labeled a “war crime on belts”. “The only effective way to counter them is to identify, locate and disable the launchers before they can be launched,” Hambling said. According to him, the TOS-1 type launcher cannot be used in a populated area without a high risk of civilian casualties.
But the TOS-1 system will not give Russian troops a decisive offensive advantage for the military operations they are likely to conduct in the eastern part of the Luhansk region occupied by Russia, the Washington-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said.
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