Ukraine War: Russia Accused of Using Phosphorus Bombs in Bakhmut

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Ukraine accuses Russia of phosphorus attack on Bakhmut

Ukraine has accused Russia of attacking the besieged city of Bakhmut with phosphorus shells.

Drone footage released by the Ukrainian military shows what appears to be white phosphorous shells raining down on the city and Bakhmut burning.

White phosphorus weapons are not banned, but their use in civilian areas is considered a war crime.

They cause fast-spreading fires that are very difficult to extinguish. Russia has been accused of using them before.

Russia has been trying to capture Bakhmut for months despite its questionable strategic value. Western officials estimate that thousands of Moscow troops were killed in the attack.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a Twitter post that the Lynn attack targeted “vacant lots in Bakhmut with incendiary bombs.”

Kiev’s Special Forces Command added that Moscow’s forces continued to “destroy the city.”

It is unclear when the alleged attack took place. But footage shared by Ukraine, apparently captured by a surveillance drone, showed the skyscraper engulfed in flames.

Other videos posted on social media showed fires raging on the ground.

Russia has been accused of using white phosphorous munitions several times since it launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. Siege of Mariupol at the beginning of the war.

The Russian government has never publicly acknowledged its use of white phosphorus, and after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it had used white phosphorus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last year that “Russia is committed to international agreements.” I have never violated it,” he said.

White phosphorus is a waxy substance that ignites on contact with oxygen, producing bright smoke.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) warns that the chemical is “notorious for causing serious injury.”

Burns at 800 degrees Celsius and can cause severe burns to human flesh. It is also very sticky and difficult to remove, and can reignite if the bandage is removed.

But HRW says white phosphorus is not covered by the treaty because its main purpose is to “create a smokescreen to hide military operations.”

According to HRW, the chemical has been used “repeatedly over the past 15 years,” including by US forces against IS fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Some analysts say its use as an incendiary weapon near civilians is still illegal. Bahmut’s pre-war population was 80,000, but there are very few civilians left in the area.

The attack came a day after the commander of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group said it would withdraw troops from Bakhmut on May 10 over ammunition supplies.

Yevgeny Prigozhin stated that Wagner’s casualties were “growing geometrically every day” and fixed his decision to withdraw from Bahmut squarely to the Ministry of Defense.

Despite Prigozhin’s claims, a senior Ukrainian official said Wagner was actually redeploying mercenaries to Bakhmut to occupy it ahead of Tuesday’s Victory Day celebrations in Russia.

“We’re seeing them pulling now [fighters] They are pulling from the entire attack line where Wagner’s fighters were [them] In the direction of Bakhmut,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Marial said on Ukrainian television.

Heavy fighting erupts amid reports that Ukraine is preparing to launch a major counteroffensive in the coming weeks. Prigogine himself has said that he believes the attack could take place as early as May 15th.

An attack could take place in the Zaporizhia region, which Russia controls about 80%.

On Friday, the governor of the Russian-installed Zaporizhia region said it had ordered the evacuation of villages near the front line.

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