Propaganda footage has emerged showing Russian forces firing thermobaric missiles at the city of Mariupol in Ukraine. The video clip was published by Russia Today and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), although it is still unclear if this was taken during the ongoing Ukraine invasion or from a previously recorded material meant to promote the weapon.

According to the Mirror, different videos have been circulating on social media and widely shared on Russian Telegram channels. In the clips, soldiers are seen loading missiles onto a launcher as Russian orchestral music plays in the background. A TOS-1A Heavy Flamethrower system is also seen being launched with rockets pointing towards the southern port city.

A military vehicle rolls into position on a field before the rockets are ignited and launched. The blue sky lights up as the missiles streak through the air and hits the ground creating a great cloud of smoke rising up.

Claims have been made saying missile launchers have been spotted in the vicinity of Mariupol however, this is yet to be confirmed. Word from Moscow defense sources said the TOS-1A Sointsepek was used against Ukrainian nationalists by the people’s militia of the DPR in support of the Russian army during a special ops mission in Ukraine with the Russian military boasting of its use just 10 days ago.

The UK Ministry of Defense also confirmed this. Towards the start of the Ukraine invasion, the MoD tweeted, "The Russian MoD has confirmed the use of the TOS-1A weapon system in Ukraine. The TOS-1A uses thermobaric rockets, creating incendiary and blast effects.”

As it is, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed that a barrage of hypersonic Kinzhai missiles have been fired from the Crimea airspace while Russian ships in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea have also unleashed cruise missiles on Ukraine during the week.

Thermobaric bombs, also known as vacuum bombs are fuel-air bombs that have proven to be more deadly and devastating than conventional explosives. After being launched, the first blast sprays fuel vapor throughout the surrounding target area, then the second blast ignites the vapor cloud.

A target area will experience a huge explosion accompanied by a high-temperature fireball that sucks up the oxygen and unleashes a massive blast wave. The fireball can melt through almost anything and vaporize bodies that are in close proximity to the blast area. Buildings and other infrastructure stand no chance and humans who are caught in the blast suffer from ruptured organs.

Mariupol has been under siege from Russian attacks for two weeks without electricity and very little access to food or water. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians remain trapped in the city as temporary ceasefire agreements that will allow citizens to escape via humanitarian corridors have been reportedly broken by Russian troops.

Russia's thermobaric rocket launchers
Solntsepyok (Blazing Sun) multiple thermobaric rocket launchers during the Victory Day military parade in Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia. The 75th-anniversary marks the end of the Great Patriotic War when the Nazi's capitulated to the then Soviet Union. Photo by Evgeny Biyatov - Host Photo Agency via Getty Images

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