Russia: Verhofstadt erupts at EU as he calls for more sanctions
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Sergei Bratchuk, the Ukrainian spokesman for the region of Odesa, said a TOS-1A rocket launcher had been fired at Russian troops near Izyum, located towards eastern Ukraine. The lethal rocket launcher had previously been seen in Russian armoured convoys during the failed advance on the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. These tracked vehicles can fire “vacuum bombs” that suck in oxygen to create a destructive high-temperature blast capable of damaging internal organs.
During recent days, there has been increasing evidence of Ukrainians successfully capturing the launchers, which the Russian refer to as solntsepyok or “blazing sun”.
Earlier this week, a photograph showing Ukrainian troops posing with a captured TOS-1A unit was widely shared online.
In another video clip, a Ukrainian tractor was filmed dragging another of the rocket launchers across a field.
Elsewhere, Ukrainian troops were spotted salvaging the rotary blades from a KA-52 helicopter that had earlier been shot down.
The lethal TOS-1 had been developed by the Soviet Union, primarily for use in Afghanistan.
But this latest updated version captured by opposition soldiers has 24 barrels and an impressive range of more than six miles.
The thermobaric warheads are capable of producing a destructive explosion with a blast radius much bigger than conventional weaponry.
Upon impact, they disperse an incendiary aerosol into the air which is then set alight to create a massive fireball that absorbs oxygen from the atmosphere.
These latest developments come with Prime Minister Boris Johnson launching another blistering attack against Russia, warning to actions of their forces in Ukraine appeared close to “genocide”.
Ukrainian officials said the bodies of more than 400 civilians have been discovered in Bucha and other towns close to Kyiv.
The Prime Minister added the latest disclosures further emphasised the need to he international community to tighten the economic pressure on Russia.
He said: “I’m afraid when you look at what’s happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what Putin has done in Ukraine doesn’t look far short of genocide to me.
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“It is no wonder people are responding in the way that they are.
“I have no doubt that the international community, Britain very much in the front rank, will be moving again in lockstep to impose more sanctions and more penalties on Vladimir Putin’s regime.”
These comments come with the UK, US and European Union preparing to hit Russia with further sanctions over atrocities committed during the invasion of Ukraine.
Another package of economic measures targeting Putin’s allies and the industries funding the war will be announced later today (Wednesday).
NATO foreign ministers will also look at how best to support Ukraine’s resistance to Russian forces.
On Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the economic sanctions imposed so far are having a crippling impact” and “pushing the Russian economy back into the Soviet era”.
She confirmed more than £266billion of “Putin’s war chest” had been frozen, rendering unavailable over 60% of the regime’s £459billion of foreign currency reserves.
Ms Truss is joining her NATO counterparts in Brussels today ahead of Thursday’s full meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers.
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