Russian General Staff claims to have credible data about Ukrainian army use of phosphorous bombs

The Russian Defense Ministry cited data that showed that the Ukrainian armed forces were using phosphorus-containing ammunition during the hostilities in southeast Ukraine, Maj. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir of the Main Operative Directorate of the Russian Army General Staff said on Friday.

The Russian Defense Ministry cited data that showed that the Ukrainian armed forces were using phosphorus-containing ammunition during the hostilities in southeast Ukraine, Maj. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir of the Main Operative Directorate of the Russian Army General Staff said on Friday.

"Today we have credible proof that it was phosphorous-containing ammunition that were used in Ukrainian cities and populated areas. This claim is based on characteristic signs," the general said on the Rossiya 24 television channel.

The General Staff representative cited instances of use of this sort of ammunition.

In particular, such instances include: the June 12 artillery shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces of the city of Slavyansk with phosphorous ammunition; the June 21 use by aircraft of phosphorous and cluster ammunition in an attack on the village of Semenivka in the eastern suburb of Slovyansk; the June 29 artillery shelling with phosphorous ammunition of the village of Semenivka; the July 7 artillery shelling with phosphorous ammunition of the city of Lysychansk; and July 23 use by the Ukrainian army aircraft of phosphorous bombs against the city of Donetsk.

Phosphorous-containing ammunition has a number of features which make it distinct in use: "high falling speed, unlike luminescent ammunition; dispersal of blazing elements over a large area, resembling in shape a whirl of sparkle; causing big fires on impact sites; and a high combustion temperature," the general said.

The Russian General Staff urged Ukraine "to stop using the ammunition banned by international conventions."

"Given the consequences the use of such weapon leads to in east Ukraine, we are appealing to international organizations, including medical ones: no need to keep mum on these facts," Poznikhir said.

Read more: The media battle over MH17: The Kremlin vs. the world

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