The ‘vacuum bomb’, which Ukraine says the Russians have used in the invasion, ignites a fireball that sucks in all surrounding oxygen

The use of such weapons, which suck in oxygen from the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion, has yet to be independently confirmed, though footage from Ukraine has shown thermobaric rocket launchers on Russia’s TOS-1 vehicles.

Dr Marcus Hellyer, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said while it was not clear if they had been deployed yet by Russia in Ukraine, it was only “a matter of time”.

The thermobaric weapon, also known as an aerosol bomb or fuel air explosive, is a two-stage munition.

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