In Potzga and in the northern Kyiv regions, the corpses of civilians found in mass graves are being dissected. Dozens of civilians have discovered metal arrows of the type rarely used in modern warfare, according to autopsy doctors. Watchman.
– It is very difficult to find it in the body, because it is very thin. Most of the people we autopsied come from the Potsja region, says Ukrainian forensic scientist Valdislav Perovsky.
The forensic specialist says colleagues who work in other parts of the area have reported similar results.
These tiny metal arrows, called fléchettes and originally developed in France during World War I, have been found in dozens of civilians, according to the autopsy working group.
8000 arrows of a grenade
Presenter Pal Yedestebo told TV2 that fléchettes are a type of weapon that is largely out of use.
It can be used in situations where you have to confront artillery or when using tanks against well-protected infantry, says Ydstebø.
He says that Norway does not have such ammunition in its arsenal.
Metal arrows, three to four centimeters long, were found in hand grenades for tanks or for field artillery. Grenades can contain about 8000 of these arrows. When fired, the grenades crack when a timed fuse explodes. The Guardian writes that it is exploding above ground.
The use of fléchettes may be prohibited
Yedstepo asserts that trench warfare in eastern Ukraine is a case in which the Russians attack soldiers in well-fortified positions, while the case of an attack in the northern outskirts of Kiev is not the same.
In 2014, Flechet was found dead and wounded in Donetsk. At the time, Human Rights Watch criticized Russia for its use of cluster munitions. But it is not necessarily illegal to use flechet.
It is a myth that all cluster munitions are banned, Camilla Goldal Cooper, associate professor at the Defense Staff School, tells TV 2.
– Anyway, these are not cluster munitions because they do not contain explosives.
It says that exploding and shooting grenades are not prohibited under international law, but the way they are used could constitute a violation.
It must be possible to limit the weapon to legal targets. If one is attacking military targets and there are no civilians nearby, the use of Flechet may be legal.
It does not prohibit their production or use against military targets, but once they explode, they strike very indiscriminately. If they were used in urban warfare, it would be a violation of international law because it is very difficult to control whether or not they hit civilians.
Hit by flechet in Botsja
Autopsies examining each of the mass graves in Botsja, document the small metal pieces and the body in which they were found.
Valdyslav Pirovskyi, with whom The Guardian spoke, is collecting all the information about each body in reports that will be used to document what happened and whether there was a violation of international law.
– If many civilians are found dead with Flechet, this is a strong indication of a violation of international law because they did not take into account civilians in their operations, Associate Professor Cooper tells TV2.
according to Watchman There are dozens of civilians. Eyewitnesses in Botsja said that Russian artillery fired flechettes munitions a few days before they left the area in March.
Flechet was killed, a reporter in Palestine
Palle Ydstebø assures TV 2 that Norway does not have flechettes in its arsenal, although it may be an effective weapon in some contexts.
The weapon was originally developed in France during World War I, with French and German soldiers engaged in trench warfare for several years. Fléchettes must be developed by French forces.
It was little used during World War II, but the United States used the weapon during the Vietnam War. More recently, the Israeli army used some type of ammunition, and faced harsh criticism from the Palestinian journalist Faleh Sana (23) She was killed by such a shell in 2008.
In 2003, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit demanding that flechettes not be used again in Gaza.
The Mayor of Bucha, Anatoly Fedorok, has no doubt that Russia ignored the rules of war:
“Botsja turned into a Chechen safari where they used landmines against civilians,” he told the Guardian.
Russian forces entered Potja after several days of fighting in February. The troops withdrew at the end of March, and graves containing hundreds of dead, apparently slaughtered people, were found. Since then, work is underway to document war crimes and violations of international law in the region.
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