Ukraine

Russia appears to be using mine clearance tools to strike Ukraine

Tools designed to save lives are being misused, footage released by Russia appears to show.

Footage released by Russia's defence ministry appears to show buildings in eastern Ukraine being targeted by Russian troops using equipment designed to clear minefields and protect life.

The UR-77 Meteorit, normally called into action when troops need to cross dangerous land, is shown in the Russian footage seemingly being misused to destroy buildings. 

The system is similar to the UK's Python, slinging a line charge (a rope rigged with high explosives) hundreds of metres ahead. When it lands flat and detonates, it wipes out any IEDs with it and clears a straight-line route for vehicles and troops.

If used correctly, civilians living in conflict zones can also benefit from safer routes outside of their homes.

However, the Russian footage from Rubizhne, Luhansk, appears to show a more concentrated blast radius, suggesting the clearance tool has been manipulated to destroy more localised targets, rather than just creating longer and thinner paths toward them.