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World War 1-Era Weapon Used By Russia To Kill Civilians In Bucha: Report

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World War 1-Era Weapon Used By Russia To Kill Civilians In Bucha: Report

Ukraine War: A large number of flechettes are contained in field gun shells which then explode.

The city of Bucha in Ukraine has witnessed a lot of destruction during the Russian occupation of the city. According to The Guardian dozens of civilians have died by tiny metallic arrows. These have reportedly come from shells of a type of Russian Artillery. Many witnesses have reported that these tiny arrows, called fléchette rounds, were fired by Russian artillery forces before they withdrew from the city. While the human rights groups all over the globe have campaigned against fléchette shells, they are not banned according to international law.

Several coroners, while carrying out post-mortems for the civilians killed in Bucha, noted that small metal darts were found embedded in people’s chests and skulls. Speaking to The Guardian, Ukrainian forensic doctor Vladyslav Pirovskyi said, “We found several really thin, nail-like objects in the bodies of men and women and so did others of my colleagues in the region…It is very hard to find those in the body, they are too thin. The majority of these bodies come from the Bucha-Irpin region.”

According to The Guardianthese types of anti-personnel weapons were widely used during the First World War. A large number of fléchettes which are 3 to 4 centimeters in length are contained in field gun shells. When fired, these shells explode and detonate above ground which causes them to disperse in a wide arch covering an area of 300 meters wide and 100 meters long. 

Bucha is one of the worst-affected cities by the Russian invasion. After the Russian troops left the region to regroup for a fresh assault, Ukrainians found mass graves. A UN rights monitoring mission, which visited the city near Kyiv, said that 50 civilians had been killed there, including by summary execution.

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