Cluster Bombs, ‘Butterfly’ Mines, Phosphorus Munitions: Prohibited Weapons Used by Ukraine

9 hours ago

© AFP 2022 / ANATOLII STEPANOV

Geneva will host a conference of the parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) from 30 August to 2 September. In anticipation of this gathering, Sputnik assembled facts about the Ukrainian Army’s use of prohibited weapons.

The Russian Armed Forces use high-precision weapons to attack military facilities, whereas the Armed Forces of Ukraine routinely bomb civilians in Donbass. As such, the Ukrainian Army has shown that it will not shy away from using weapons prohibited by international agreements, including cluster munitions. Read our investigation into these and other prohibited weapons used by the Kiev government.

Cluster Bombs

A cluster bomb is a weapon that opens in mid-air and scatters large quantities of smaller bombs over a wide area. These munitions are incredibly lethal.

Since March 2022, Ukraine’s Armed Forces have regularly shelled the Donbass region with this type of weapon. Here are a few examples:

On 14 March, Ukraine’s Armed Forces fired Tochka-U missiles into the center of Donetsk. Although the missile was shot down on approach, the falling debris killed 20 people and injured another 36.

© Telegram/WarGonzo

The above video shows the moment Ukrainian forces hit central Donetsk with a Tochka-U missile on 14 March 2022

On 8 April they fired a Tochka-U missile at the railway station in Kramatorsk, which is located in Kiev-controlled territory. As a result of this provocation, the purpose of which was to blame Russian forces, at least 30 civilians, including children, were killed and no fewer than 100 people sustained injuries of varying severity.

© Telegram/EtoDonetsk

The above footage shows the aftermath of a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile strike on a railway station in Kramatorsk on 8 April

On 21 and 22 May, Ukrainian nationalists fired cluster bombs at the village of Belozerka in the Kherson region. Five civilians were killed and another 10 were wounded.

© Russian Ministry of Defence

Scenes from the village of Belozerka in the Kherson region, which was attacked by the Ukrainian military using cluster bombs on 21 and 22 May 2022

Ukraine also shelled Russian territory with cluster munitions. On the night of 3 July, Ukrainian forces fired three Tochka-U rockets at Belgorod. Russian air defense forces destroyed them in mid-air, but the wreckage of one missile fell on a residential building. Five people were killed, including a child.

© Telegram/romanov_92

The above video shows residential buildings in Belgorod, Russia after Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles hit the city on 3 July 2022

On 7 August Ukrainian formations attacked the territory surrounding Zaporozhye nuclear power plant with a 220mm Uragan MLRS cluster missile.

Furthermore, Ukrainian security forces also use 9M27K3 cluster rockets from the Uragan MLRS to remotely mine territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic with “Butterfly” PFM-1 mines. This is another type of prohibited weaponry used by the Kiev regime.

‘Butterfly’ Mines

The Donetsk People’s Republic’s authorities records cases of civilians being wounded as a result of triggered “Butterfly” PFM-1 mines every day. About 40 grams of high explosives cripple those who step on the mine, tearing the lower part of the leg off.

© Readovka

WARNING: The GRAPHIC video tells the story of a 15-year-old from Donetsk who suffered severe injuries from a Ukrainian “Butterfly” PFM-1 mine

These mines have so far injured more than 50 civilians, including two children. One person died of his wounds in hospital.

“The ‘butterfly’ is a living testament to the sadistic, inhuman nature of the Kiev regime, a symbol of its real attitude towards people in the east and south-east of the country,” Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, stressed on 24 August as he illustrated with a model how easy it is to conceal the weapon.

The diplomat called on UN members to condemn “the Kiev regime for using these inhumane methods of warfare”.

The above video shows activists staging a protest in front of the US Embassy in Moscow in support of the victims killed in the Donetsk People’s Republic by the ‘Butterfly’ mines 

In August, protest rallies were held near the embassies of the US, the United Kingdom, France, and Latvia to draw the attention of western diplomats and the public to the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists in Donbass. The protesters posted flyers with pictures of these mines near the embassies.

© Readovka

Activists placed images of ‘Butterfly’ mines on pavements near the French embassy in Moscow during a demonstration in August

On 18 July 1997, under the International Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, participating states undertook not only not to use, but to eliminate their stockpiles of anti-personnel mines. In 2005, Ukraine ratified the convention, but Kiev has not complied with its international obligations.

As early as March, Azov fighters indiscriminately planted about 10,000 “butterfly” mines in residential buildings in the central streets of Mariupol, DPR authorities said. Shelling of the republic with cluster munitions containing these mines began in April and continues today. On 10 August, the DPR government reported that Ukraine’s Armed Forces had approximately 90 rockets of this type, each capable of carrying 320 mines.

French Mines That Can’t Be Disarmed

“Butterfly” mines are not the only prohibited weapons used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On 14 August, Russian military service personnel found more than 50 French-made HPD F2 anti-tank mines at positions left by units of the Ukrainian 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade south of Artemovsk.

HPD F2 anti-tank mine
© Photo : Telegram

According to Russia’s Ministry of Defense, these mines “cannot be retrieved or deactivated” once they have been placed in the armed position. Their use is in direct contravention of Protocol II (“On Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices”) to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which was ratified in New York on 10 October of that year.

© RT

RT correspondent Igor Zhdanov explains how “Butterfly” mines operate

Use of Phosphorus

Since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported the use of phosphorus-filled munitions by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In one example, they were used en masse against the Russian Army in February in the suburbs of Kiev near the Gostomel airport. On 19 March, the Ukrainian Army also used banned artillery shells with phosphorus warheads to strike a crossing of the Severskyi Donets River.

Expanding Bullets

Another prohibited type of weapon used by Kiev are expanding bullets. In contrast to conventional bullets, these bullets have soft heads which explode on impact, opening up like a flower and causing maximum injury.

Sniper rifles loaded with expanding cartridges manufactured by the US company Hornady Manufacturing were found in April at the positions occupied by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Mariupol.

RT correspondent Igor Zhdanov explains how “Butterfly” mines operate

Use of Phosphorus

Since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported the use of phosphorus-filled munitions by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In one example, they were used en masse against the Russian Army in February in the suburbs of Kiev near the Gostomel airport. On 19 March, the Ukrainian Army also used banned artillery shells with phosphorus warheads to strike a crossing of the Severskyi Donets River.

Expanding Bullets

Another prohibited type of weapon used by Kiev are expanding bullets. In contrast to conventional bullets, these bullets have soft heads which explode on impact, opening up like a flower and causing maximum injury.

Sniper rifles loaded with expanding cartridges manufactured by the US company Hornady Manufacturing were found in April at the positions occupied by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Mariupol.

© Telegram/rlz_the_kraken

In the above video, a DPR fighter shows a Ukrainian 7.62-caliber Ukrop UAR-10 sniper

In March, the DPR’s military also found a 7.62-caliber Ukrop UAR-10 sniper rifle in Mariinka – a weapon that has been designed to fire expanding bullets.

© Telegram/nasha_stranaZ

The video of a Russian troop demonstrating prohibited ammunition used by Ukrainians in Donbass

Expanding bullets were banned at the first Hague Conference more than 120 years ago, in 1899.

Torture of POWs

The Ukrainian military regularly violates the provisions of the Geneva Convention in its treatment of prisoners of war. At the end of March, nationalists published footage of the massacre of Russian soldiers taken prisoner in Kharkov.

© Readovka

WARNING: The above video contains disturbing scenes of Russian captives who were tortured by Ukrainian troops

In early April, footage of Russian military personnel being executed in the Kiev region also appeared on the internet. The video showed one of the soldiers being finished off with several shots. Another of those killed had his hands tied behind his back, which proves that he surrendered and posed no threat.

On 3 August, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Alexander Fomin announced at a briefing for foreign military attachés the results of a survey of Russian soldiers who had returned from Kiev’s captivity. The survey found that 81 percent of the service personnel were subjected to beatings and physical violence. More than half of those captured were forcibly recruited to shoot propaganda videos, 46 percent did not receive necessary medical assistance, and 79 percent of servicemen could not contact their families.

‘Chemical Terrorism’

On 20 August, Moscow accused Kiev of the targeted use of chemical weapons. It was reported that Ukraine’s Armed Forces used an organic poison of artificial origin, botulinum toxin type B, against Russian troops. On 31 July, soldiers who were performing tasks in the area of Vasilievka, Zaporozhye, were taken to a military hospital with signs of severe poisoning and after tests, it was discovered that they had this poison in their bodies.

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