Citing a report from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Militarnyi reported that in the Chernihiv region near Mena, Ukrainians seized a TOS-1 Buratino heavy flamethrower system. As Militarnyi have already reported, on March 1, 2022, the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donetsk region seized the launcher of this system. According to a video published by Frederik Pleitgen, CNN Senior Correspondent on February 26, 2022, the Russian Army shows TOS-1A being transported by a truck going to the South of Belgorod, a city located 40 km north of the border of Ukraine.
As reported by many media, including spectacular video footage, Russian TOS-1A Heavy Flamethrowers fired thermobaric rockets, also known as aerosol bombs or fuel-air explosives, on Kharkiv. Russia is likely to use thermobaric weapons to terrorize the Ukrainian army and civilians. And they will keep on doing it on (many) more targets in Ukraine. Russia also reportedly used the weapons during the Chechen wars of the 1990s and early 2000s, drawing condemnation from human rights groups, as well as during a campaign to retake the Syrian city of Ghouta in 2018.
TOS-1 (Heavy Flamethrower System) is a Soviet 220 mm 30-barrel (original system, Object 634 or TOS-1M) or 24-barrel (Object 634B or TOS-1A) multiple rocket launcher and thermobaric weapon mounted on a T-72 tank chassis. TOS-1 was designed to attack enemy fortified positions and lightly armored vehicles and transports, in open terrain in particular. Thermobaric weapons are considered to be one of the most brutal war weapons that exist. The missiles are filled with a highly explosive fuel and chemical mix, which, on exploding can cause supersonic blast waves that can obliterate everything in its path, including buildings and humans.
In 2003, the improved TOS-1A system Solntsepyok entered service with the range extended to 6 kilometers and a better ballistic computer. In March 2020, Russia introduced a new rocket for the TOS-1A with a range of 10 km, achieved in part by weight and size reductions of a new fuel-air explosive mixture in the warhead, while also increasing its power. The minimum range is extended from 400 m to 1.6 km, so the shorter-range M0.1.01.04M rocket will be retained for close combat environments. In 2018, Russian NBC Protection Troops received 30 TOS-1A Solntsepyok (Sunburn) 220 mm multiple rocket launchers.