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Russia says it killed large number of Ukrainian soldiers with ‘vacuum bomb’ in claim Kyiv calls nonsense

Russia says it killed large numbers of Ukrainian soldiers with a destructive so-called “vacuum bomb” in a claim Ukraine swiftly called nonsense.

The deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces told Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a meeting that up to 300 soldiers were killed “as a result of an accurate strike by an aerial munition,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

The spokesperson of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, Andriy Yusov, told CNN the claims were “absolute nonsense and propaganda as well as Russian information about killing 1500 Ukrainian soldiers in Kursk and Belgorod regions yesterday”.

The spokesperson of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, Andriy Yusov, told CNN the claims were “absolute nonsense and propaganda.”

CNN cannot independently verify the incident.

Colonel General Alexei Kim did not indicate where the strike took place but described the location of the strike as the “deployment point of the ‘Kraken’ nationalist formation,” according to the ministry, referring to a special unit of the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence.

Kim said a “volumetric detonation bomb” was used in the airstrike, RIA Novosti reported Saturday.

Volumetric weapons are also known as vacuum bombs, thermobaric weapons or fuel-air explosives.

The destruction caused by a thermobaric weapon is caused by the blast wave it creates and also the vacuum resulting from the fuel-air mixture sucking in oxygen to sustain the detonation, according to the Lieber Institute for Law & Warfare at the US Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The force of such a blast is enough to collapse buildings and rupture organs. Walls or even caves don’t provide protection, according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Details of the Russian airstrike emerged during a meeting at the headquarters of the Joint Group of Forces, where Shoigu heard reports from commanders on the current situation in the “zone of the special military operation,” the ministry said, Russia’s phrase for its war in Ukraine.

Kim also did not mention when the strike was carried out but noted that “over the past week alone, as a result of effective work of reconnaissance and strike systems, three American Patriot complexes, a Vampire multiple rocket launcher, more than 10 foreign-made artillery systems and fuel and ammunition depots were destroyed,” according to the ministry.

Kim also told Shoigu during the meeting that Ukraine is “suffering significant losses in both equipment and manpower as a result of the use of high-precision weapons and strike drones,” the ministry said.

This story has been updated with new developments.

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