July 15, 2022

Incendiary Weapons in Ukraine?


Incendiary Weapons in Ukraine?
An example of a white phosphorus bomb mid-explosion during WWII. Wikimedia Commons, USAAF

On July 1, several videos posted online captured Russian aircraft deploying white phosphorus bombs over Snake Island. This is not the first time Russian forces have been accused of using incendiary weapons during their war on Ukraine.

Incendiary weapons are infamous for their large dispersion patterns and for the gruesome injuries they inflict upon both soldiers and civilians. Incendiaries are flammable weapons that may be used for smoke screens, setting fires, and lighting up in the dark.

White phosphorus, the chemical allegedly used in Ukraine, is an example of an incendiary agent, and can be used to fill incendiary bombs. The thick and waxy substance ignites with oxygen and is capable of burning human flesh down to the bone, reaching a temperature of some 800 degrees Celsius. According to Brian Castner, Amnesty International war crimes investigator, water will actually make phosphorus burns worse, so there is often nothing an individual can do to immediately help themselves or others.

While Russia has been accused of repeatedly using incendiary weapons like white phosphorus since February, there has been no official confirmation. But the March 2022, video clearly shows white phosphorus being deployed in Kramatorsk, which President Zelensky said killed civilians, including children. Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of Donetsk, also said that white phosphorus was used during the siege of the Azovstal steel plant at Mariupol. Incendiary weapons are notoriously difficult to contain, and so the phosphorus can easily spill over from combat areas into civilian ones.

While the use of white phosphorus is not banned internationally, incendiary agents of its kind are prohibited from use in areas where civilians are present, according to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons signed by Ukraine, Russia, and 111 other countries.

           

You Might Also Like

Suing for Peace, and Compensation
  • June 29, 2022

Suing for Peace, and Compensation

"The looting of Ukrainian goods for export – including grain and steel – has already led to rising prices and an increase in the number of people dying of hunger worldwide. This barbarism must be stopped, and Russia must pay in full. I believe in justice, and I will fight for it.” – Rinat Akhmetov, the Ukrainian businessman who is suing Russia
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar (bilingual)

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar (bilingual)

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

Steppe / Степь (bilingual)

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955