The war in Ukraine is a horrific conflict in that many weapons used by Russia may have no place in modern warfare as they are so barbaric and lethal.
Case in point: the TOS-1A. The so-called ‘flamethrower’ is Putin’s most powerful weapon after a nuclear bomb – at least according to many experts.
And it is used devastatingly on the battlefield.
Brutal Weapon – Watch Thermobaric Missiles Cause Damage In Bakhmut
Video footage shared on Telegram back in April shows the damage done by Russian thermobaric missile strikes in Bakhmut. The city has now fallen to Russian forces but Ukraine is pushing hard around the city as we speak.
The incredible footage, recorded from the air, shows the moment that several TOS-1A thermobaric MLRS strikes take out Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut, a Donetsk Oblast city primarily considered to be strategically unimportant for the Russians.
The video, shared by a Russian Telegram account, described the strikes as “terribly beautiful.” However, the weapon is nothing beautiful at all.
“How TOS-1A ‘Solntsepek’ ground the positions of Ukrainian nationalists in the Komarovka district in Bakhmut,” the post reads.
The video was reposted to Twitter by war analyst Rob Lee, who noted that the weapons prove effective even in urban environments – usually where defending forces have the advantage.
“Russian TOS-1A thermobaric MLRS strikes in central Bakhmut. Unfortunately, this a very effective weapon in urban terrain even against defenders in well-fortified positions,” Lee writes.
The clip also shows the sheer amount of damage done by Russian and Ukrainian forces fighting in the town. Roads are barely visible, and all buildings are obviously destroyed.
The exact location of the strikes was also confirmed by geolocation specialists on Twitter, one of whom posted correlating photographs and maps of the area, adding that Russian forces were attempting to “simply erase the city.”
One former George W. Bush National Security Council staffer told 19FortyFive back in April: “The TOS-1 is a brutal weapon. Putin knows it can kill countless people and does not care who he harms with it.”
Zelenskyy Warns Again Of Possible Withdrawal In Bakhmut
As expert Kris Osborn explained to us just recently on the TOS-1A:
“The TOS-1A is many times referred to as Putin’s most powerful weapon after nuclear weapons and is considered by many a terror weapon for the sheer amount of ordinance it can place on a target.
A weapon such as this can operate with a number of key tactical functions, including direct attack upon force concentrations. Certainly, the TOS-1A flamethrower has a powerful anti-personnel effect in terms of its ability to strike and incinerate groups of enemy fighters or blanket an enemy area with suppressive fire to enable force maneuvering. An article in “Ukraine Today” explains that the TOS-1A can “attack enemy fortified positions and lightly armored vehicles and transports.” While not made public until 1999 in Omsk, The TOS-1A seems to have been quietly generating a massive input on Russian strategic and tactical thinking as it opens up new avenues of attack maneuver.”
Russian TOS-1A thermobaric MLRS strikes in central Bakhmut. Unfortunately, this a very effective weapon in urban terrain even against defenders in well-fortified positions. https://t.co/3F0rzbHKKM pic.twitter.com/zyFiMACD6G
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) April 5, 2023
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.