Russia Video Shows Vehicle That Can Shoot Thermobaric Warheads

Video allegedly shows a Russian multiple rocket launcher vehicle that can shoot thermobaric warheads.

Russia showed off the weapon with video footage allegedly showing it in action somewhere in Ukraine. Russia claimed that it destroyed Ukrainian targets.

The images, obtained Thursday from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), show the weapon firing a salvo of missiles, with the footage then cutting to explosions.

The MoD said the images show "the combat work of Western Military District personnel operating a heavy TOS-1A 'Solntsepek' missile system."

Russian TOS-1A 'Solntsepek' missile system
The Russian Ministry of Defense said Thursday, June 30, 2022, that a newly-released clip shows "the combat work of Western Military District personnel operating a heavy TOS-1A 'Solntsepek' missile system." Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger

The Russian MoD also claimed: "Heavy TOS-1A 'Solntsepyok' systems are designed for fire support of infantry, tanks, the destruction of open and closed firing positions in various types of offensive and defensive combat, as well as for disabling lightly armored vehicles."

A thermobaric weapon is a kind of explosive that, using oxygen from the air, generates a very high temperature that can reach 3,000 degrees Celsius (5,400 degrees Fahrenheit).

Zenger News contacted the Russian MoD for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a "special military operation." Thursday marks the 127th day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 30, Russia had lost about 35,600 personnel, 1,573 tanks, 3,726 armored combat vehicles, 790 artillery units, 246 multiple launch rocket systems, 104 air defense systems, 217 warplanes, 185 helicopters, 641 drones, 143 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,602 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 61 units of special equipment.

Russian TOS-1A 'Solntsepek' missile system
The Russian Ministry of Defense said Thursday, June 30, 2022, that a newly-released clip shows "the combat work of Western Military District personnel operating a heavy TOS-1A 'Solntsepek' missile system." Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger

NATO leaders have called Russia "the most significant and direct threat to allies' security and stability," and announced a new "strategic concept" in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

NATO is planning to boost its quick reaction forces from 40,000 troops to over 300,000 troops.

President Joe Biden also announced that the United States will increase its military forces across Europe.

NATO has also formally invited Sweden and Finland to become members of the alliance. The move comes after Turkey agreed to support Finland and Sweden's NATO membership after initially opposing the countries' bids to join the military alliance, accusing both of harboring Kurdish militants.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson at the NATO summit in Madrid and the three countries reached an agreement.

Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said: "I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO." NATO leaders have also pledged additional support to Kyiv, with the aim of modernizing Ukraine's defense sector.

Biden congratulated the three countries, saying: "Congratulations to Finland, Sweden, and Turkey on signing a trilateral memorandum – a crucial step toward a NATO invite to Finland and Sweden, which will strengthen our Alliance and bolster our collective security – and a great way to begin the Summit."

Putin said: "If Finland and Sweden wish to, they can join. That's up to them. They can join whatever they want."

But the Russian leader added: "If military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us."

Ukraine has said that it has completed the biggest prisoner exchange with Russia since the beginning of the war, with 144 of its soldiers released. They include 95 soldiers who defended the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.