THIS is the horrifying moment shockwaves rip through the air after Russia launched a vacuum bomb attack on a village in eastern Ukraine.
Dramatic footage shows a series of explosions as the Russian army annihilates a small Ukrainian town centre with thermobaric weapons in just eight seconds.
The drone video, published by pro-Russian Telegram channels, shows half a dozen huge explosions rocking the village of Novomykhailivka, in Donetsk Oblast of eastern Ukraine.
The village is located some 40km from the centre of Donetsk city.
As the explosions go off, shockwaves can clearly be seen rippling through the air – in a new piece of evidence that Russia has been employing 'thermobaric' vacuum weapons.
Thermobaric, or vacuum, bombs are controversial as they cause a lot more damage to life and property than conventional bombs of similar size.
While there are no laws that ban thermobaric weapons from being used in warfare, their use against civilians is banned under the Geneva Convention and could constitute a war crime.
The catastrophic weapons are among the most powerful non-nuclear weapons ever developed.
They were originally developed by the Nazis in World War Two, and first used by the US in Vietnam.
These bombs, formerly known as fuel-air explosives, are particularly lethal with the power to explode enemy troops' lungs.
The weapons spread fine carbon metal particles into the air before igniting them.
Due to the wide area of the ignited particles, the blast sucks in oxygen from the surrounding area, which is why it is called a vacuum bomb.
The bombs cause an enormous explosion, first by "sucking in" before a blast out. The blasts normally bring a shockwave with them, causing enormous damage.
The UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) previously warned that Moscow has been using the heavy flamethrower system TOS-1A "Solntsevyok" weapon system in Ukraine.
The new footage comes after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the situation in eastern Ukraine is "indescribably difficult."
In recent weeks, Russian forces and separatist fighters have increased their attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In February, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan confirmed his court would investigate possible war crimes in Ukraine "as rapidly as possible".
This month, Mr. Khan said his office had deployed a team of 42 investigators, forensic experts, and support personnel to Ukraine to advance their investigations into crimes falling into the jurisdiction of the ICC and provide support to Ukrainian national authorities.
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"It is essential that we demonstrate to survivors and the families of victims that international law is relevant to their experience," Mr. Khan said in an official statement.
The prosecutor added this is the largest ever single field deployment by his Office since its establishment.
"The TOS-1A uses thermobaric rockets, creating incendiary and blast effects," the MoD said in a tweet.
Earlier this week, Commander Petro Kuzyk said Vladimir Putin’s invaders were employing a scorched-earth policy to raze towns and cities to the ground before seizing them.
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