During the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the occupiers used deadly metal darts from the First World War – flash drives.
This was first established by forensic experts during the autopsy of bodies found in mass graves in Bucha and Irpen. And on May 30, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine established that the invaders fired on the border regions of Sumy region with the use of artillery shells stuffed with flash drives.
ICTV facts tell us what is known about this type of weapon, where and when it was used, as well as how dangerous it is.
The flash drive is a sharp 2.5 cm nail-shaped projectile with fins at one end to make them more aerodynamic. In other words, they are arrows dropped from airplanes.
This weapon was developed in the early twentieth century, it was used by the Air Force during attacks on clusters of infantry and cavalry of the enemy in the battles of World War I, as well as during the Civil War in Russia.
These darts were developed by French engineers. According to their plan, small metal arrows scattered from the shaving flight (flight of the aircraft at extremely low altitudes, – Ed.). The shells in the process of falling gained speed and gained lethal force during the approach to the ground.
Photo: La Grande Guerra
However, they did not receive much recognition in France, but Germany and the Russian Empire became interested in the new weapons. Even before the First World War, German and Russian military engineers created several types of flash drives, as well as bullets for dropping from airplanes.
Aviation developed, and instead of flash drives began to use bombs and missiles, which allowed more effective attack on infantry from the air. However, flash shells are known to have been used later during the Vietnam War.
Cases of using flash drives during the war in Ukraine
Flash drives were used during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, where shell samples were found in mass graves in Bucha and Irpen.
Witnesses described ammunition that exploded overhead and littered the area with 3-cm flash drives. A British munitions expert reviewed the photos of the flash drives and concluded that they were probably fired with a 122mm 3W1 artillery shell.
A spokesman for the Land Forces of Ukraine stated that the Ukrainian military does not use shells with flash drives. However, Ukrainian surgeons reported that the invaders used flash drives in the combat zone in Donetsk, according to him, back in 2014.
In the village of Andriyivka (about 20 km west of Irpen), farmer Vadym Bozhko told CNN that he found flash drives along the road leading to his house.
On May 30, occupiers fired three shots at the Sumy region’s borders from the Russian village of Tiotkino. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported that during one of the shellings, the invaders used artillery shells stuffed with flash drives.
Steel rods of Russian shells damaged buildings and property of residents in Shostka district.
Is the use of flash drives prohibited?
Flash drives are not banned, but their use in civilian areas is prohibited due to the non-selective nature of such weapons.
In the event of a detonation, thousands of darts fly over a large area and cause serious damage, penetrating the body, which can be fatal.