KEY POINTS

  • The footage shows massive shockwaves created due to the thermobaric rounds
  • Multiple explosions can be seen occurring during the attack
  • However, it remains unclear when the attack was carried out

Videos shared on the Twitter account of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense purportedly shows Russia’s TOS-1A multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) carrying out mass bombardments of Ukrainian positions.

The TOS-1A Solntsepek, or Sunshine, was seen shelling positions near Novomykhailivka and Lyman, both in the Donetsk region in Donbas. The footage shows massive shockwaves created due to the thermobaric rounds. Multiple explosions can be seen occurring during the attack.

However, it remains unclear when the attack was carried out. International Business Times cannot independently verify the clip.

The TOS-1A system – which entered service in 2001 – is a variant of the TOS-1 that dates back to the late Cold War. The complete system is mounted on a modified T-72 tank chassis. First used by the Russian Army in Chechnya, TOS-1A’s rockets use thermobaric, or fuel-air explosive, warheads. The weapons are also known as "vacuum bombs." Believed to be one of the most unique weapons in the Russian inventory weapons system, these are extremely effective against entrenched personnel.

Before Ukraine, Moscow had employed them in Chechnya and Syria.

In February, a video from inside Russia showed a thermobaric rocket launcher being deployed toward the Ukrainian border. The video, shared on Twitter by CNN correspondent Frederik Pleitgen, displayed a TOS-1 heavy flamethrower. At the time, iNews reported that thermobaric weapons can vaporize human bodies and crush internal organs. Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union developed thermobaric weapons in the 1960s.

The war in Ukraine has been ongoing since Feb. 24 with thousands of soldiers and civilians dying.

As the war entered the fourth month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with the West on Thursday to send multiple launch rocket systems as soon as possible to help fight Russia's advancement in eastern Donbas.

“We are fighting for Ukraine to be provided with all the weapons needed to change the nature of the fighting and start moving faster and more confidently toward the expulsion of the occupiers," Zelensky said in his nightly video address to the nation. Zelensky has accused Moscow of trying to commit “genocide” across the eastern Donbas region.

Meanwhile, Moscow criticized the West on Thursday and pressed to lift sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Derhachi A view shows a residential house destroyed by shelling, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Derhachi, Ukraine March 21, 2022. Photo: Reuters / Stringer .