Russia has moved a new weapons system equipped with thermobaric warheads into rebel-held Ukraine while the world’s attention remains on its airstrikes in Syria, international monitors say. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – which is monitoring a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine – reports its monitors have seen a mobile TOS-1 Buratino system for the first time. The Buratino features thermobaric warheads which spread a flammable liquid around a target and then ignite it.

It can destroy several city blocks in one strike, causing indiscriminate damage. Only Russia produces the system and it was not exported to Ukraine before the conflict broke out, according to IHS Jane’s Group and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Its sighting is possible evidence of Moscow’s ongoing interest in Ukraine even as it focuses on Syria.The OSCE’s findings are embarrassing for the Kremlin, which has turned down its rhetoric on Ukraine and shifted attention to Syria, where it has begun a series of deadly air strikes. CONTINUE