Drone footage shows Russian artillery bombardment devastate Donetsk village

TOS-1 missile launcher is one of the Russian army's most feared weapons

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Drone footage has shown the effects of a Russian bombardment on the village of Pisky in the south-eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

The village was reportedly hit with rockets from the Russian TOS-1 thermobaric missile launcher.

The footage was uploaded to Twitter by conflict tracking account Ukrainian News24.

Pisky is about 120 kilometres north of the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol.

"The enemy is concentrating its efforts on establishing full control over the territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions," Ukraine's General Staff said in a report on Thursday report.

More than 60 settlements and military targets were under attack, it said.

The TOS-1, one of the most feared weapons in Russia’s arsenal, consists of 24 rockets mounted on the chassis of a T-72 tank.

Thermobaric weapons are known as fuel air explosives, which create a cloud of explosive aerosol that spreads before being detonated.

The fiery explosion and shockwave from the 220 millimetre rockets is powerful enough to damage buildings.

The launcher unloads its devastating salvo in less than 15 seconds — and if the crew are well trained, its position can be changed to maximise the advantage of mobile artillery.

The TOS-1 has a relatively short range compared with many rocket launching systems — under 10 kilometres — and is classed by Russia as a “heavy flame-thrower".

Several artillery systems supplied to Ukrainian forces by Nato feature counter-battery radar systems that can identify the location of enemy artillery for a return bombardment — potentially giving Ukrainian forces the edge in what analysts call “artillery duels.”

The salvos of heavy rockets used by the TOS-1 also cannot be easily resupplied.

Russia still fields far more artillery than Ukraine, despite having lost an estimated 300 guns in the conflict.

It has lost thousands of tonnes of ammunition owing to long-range missile strikes by Ukraine, which uses systems such as the US-supplied Himars, which has a range of 85 kilometres.

In May, Russia was estimated to be launching more than 500 artillery strikes a day in Ukraine, analysis by the UK’s Royal United Services Institute showed.

Ukrainian officials have said the intensity of bombardments has since dropped because of missile strikes on Russian ammunition stores.

Updated: August 11, 2022, 4:15 PM