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10th Mar 2022

Heart-stopping video shows Ukrainians disabling bomb with bare hands and water bottle

Charlie Herbert

The bomb was enough to ‘flatten a building’

Terrifying footage has emerged of two Ukrainians defusing a Russian bomb with just their bare hands and a bottle of water, in what has been labelled a display of “mind-boggling” bravery.

Charles Lister, senior fellow and the Director of the Syria and Countering Terrorism and Extremism programs at the Middle East Institute, shared the footage on Twitter and said that the bomb was powerful enough to “flatten a building.”

The video has been viewed millions of times.

Sky journalist Nick Stylianou also shared the footage and explained what the two men were using the water for.

He said: “The water is to prevent static discharge. Steady hands, nerves of steel.”

Whilst everyone was praising the men for their bravery, some questioned why they put themselves at such risk when a robot could have done the task.

One person wrote:”[A] second-year engineering student can build a robot with a camera and a rotation mechanism with some watering mechanism.

“Why do we risk human lives?”

But this query was quickly answered by a “senior robotics engineer with 20+ years experience.”

He explained: “Each EOD is a unique situation and robots generally have shit end-effectors, no-touch, slow, and need tech support. Human job.”

The video comes after Russia admitted to using thermobaric weapons in Ukraine.

These are also known as ‘vacuum’ weapons and work by sucking in oxygen from the surrounding air to create a high-temperature explosion.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence confirmed these weapons had been used, tweeting: “The Russian MoD has confirmed the use of the TOS-1A weapon system in Ukraine. The TOS-1A uses thermobaric rockets, creating incendiary and blast effects.”

The use of thermobaric weapons is not currently a war crime. You can find our explainer on these weapons here.

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