Militants use white phosphorus munitions near Donetsk, Krym Battalion claims
Russian-backed militants used white phosphorus munitions on Ukrainian positions near Donetsk airport in the early hours of Monday, Ukraine’s Krym (Crimea) Battalion has claimed in a posting on its Facebook page.
According to the Facebook post, the attack could have been “revenge for a failed [militant] offensive” in the area, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days. The battalion said the fires from the shelling had been so intense that they had even burnt brick walls of houses.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission on Sunday reported that officers of the Joint Center for Control and Coordination, a group set up under the initial Minsk accords from last September to help implement the proposed ceasefire in the Donbas, had told it Ukrainian troops had launched an offensive in the area, but that these reports could not be verified.
"... [The militants] decided to take revenge for the failure of their offensive during the day, and obviously they had a lot of dead on their side,” the battalion’s statement reads.
“They shot white phosphorus [shells], burning everything around, even the brick walls of houses. Hundreds of shells with napalm are exploding in the air, and are continuing to burst.”
Ammunition containing white phosphorus spreads and ignites a substance, which has a combustion temperature exceeding 800 degrees Celsius, over a large area that can reach several hundred square meters. Combustion continues until all the phosphorus is burnt away or until all the available oxygen is used up. Such weapons cause very serious and painful injuries or a slow and very painful death.