Ukrainian troops claim to recover a Russian rocket launcher
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Video footage shared on Twitter appeared to show one infamous TOS-1A multiple rocket launcher and two T-72B tanks originally used by the Russian army in its offensive in Ukraine. However, local reports claim the heavy artillery has been captured and recovered by the Ukrainian army which plans to use the weapons against Russian troops.
Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker, who shared the video last month, claimed the weaponry had been captured during fighting near Derhachi.
They tweeted: “Ukrainian troops finally managed to recover a Russian TOS-1A thermobaric multiple rocket launcher and two T-72B tanks from that famous video filmed near Derhachi, #Kharkiv Oblast – soon all three will join the ranks of the Ukrainian army.”
The account, which has been monitoring the use of weapons in Ukraine, also shared an earlier video of the fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian troops which appears to show the artillery being damaged last month.
One of the tanks, purported to be one of Russia’s deadly thermobaric rocket launchers, appears to “fire rockets wildly after being hit by artillery fire”, according to Ukraine Weapons Tracker.
The account claims the weapons in the video have been repurposed by Ukrainian troops.
Thermobaric rocket launchers – known as TOS-1A multiple rocket launchers – were first spotted in Russian armoured convoys during the failed assault on Kyiv near the start of the invasion.
The tracked vehicles are capable of firing thermobaric weapons known as vacuum bombs that suck in oxygen to create a devastating high-temperature blast than can damage human internal organs.
There have been multiple reports of Ukraine’s forces capturing the notorious weapons since Russia launched its offensive on February 24.
Ukrainian troops reportedly captured one of the launchers back in April, according to officials.
Sergei Bratchuk, the Ukrainian spokesman for the region of Odesa, said on April 6 that one of the launchers had been fired at Russian troops by Ukraine forces near Izyum, eastern Ukraine.
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Ukrainian troops also posed for a photo with a captured TOS-1A unit in an image that was shared widely the same month.
A tractor was also filmed dragging another of the launchers through a Ukrainian field.
The Ukrainian army is thought to have captured at least five of the TOS01 units and has used them to fire back at the Russians since the start of the war, according to analysts at the Oryx blog.
The deadly launcher was developed by the Soviet Union for use in Afghanistan.
Before the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin claimed its army possessed around 100 of the weapons and had deployed a significant number to the country.
The updated model reportedly captured by Ukrainian troops is believed to have 24 barrels and a range of more than six miles.
Thermobaric warheads have a blast radius significantly larger than conventional weaponry and produce a devastating explosion.
When fired, they send an incendiary aerosol into the air which is then set on fire, creating a huge fireball that sucks oxygen from the atmosphere.
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