Victims of Boutsha were killed by “arrows”?

A Ukrainian forensic scientist claims that the Russians used this ammunition, after finding throwing darts at the bodies of Bucha’s victims. In 2014, Israel was already targeted for using this controversial weapon.

At the beginning of April, the whole world discovered with horror the mass graves left by the Russian army north of Kyiv. Retaking the areas around the capital, abandoned by the Kremlin’s forces redeployed to the Donbass, the Ukrainian army discovered hundreds of corpses scattered in the streets of several regions. On April 14, Special Envoy for figaro In Ukraine, 403 dead and 16 missing, in Bucha alone.

Asked about these atrocities, residents described “What sometimes amounts to systematic assassination, when men of military age are captured, tortured and summarily shot in basements and mileOthers said.The murderous anger of the soldiers whose units suffered heavy losses […] And those who take revenge on civilians suspected of informing their enemiesOthers at lastWitnessed gratuitous murders, committed by soldiers left to their own devices, who comically shot passers-by“.

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After three weeks of investigation, Ukrainian forensic pathologists also revealed another parameter: Dozens of civilians were killed with small metal arrows, according to the special envoy of guardian . “We found many tiny, nail-like objects on the bodies of both men and women, as did others of my colleagues in the area”, declared to the British daily Vladislav Perovsky, a Ukrainian pathologist. These items come from unusual ammunition called “arrow shells”.

Ammunition used since World War I

Many weapon experts, he met guardian, confirmed this hypothesis. This anti-personnel ammunition, fired from a tank or cannon, was widely used during the First World War. It can hold 8 to 10,000 arrows 3 or 4 cm long. Once fired, the projectile explodes and the projectiles scatter like rain of daggers, in a conical arc 300 meters long and about 90 meters wide. Upon impact, the stock can lose its stiffness in the front and bend, while the rear four-fin breaks off and causes a second injury. According to Neil Gibson, an expert who met him guardian, The arrows discovered in Bucha come from 122mm 3SH1 artillery shells. This type of ammunition was used already in 2014, at the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in the Donbass.

A pro-Russian separatist holds an arrow found in the Donetsk region in 2014. Dominic Faget/AFP

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These munitions were invented by the Italians in 1911-1912, according to the Australian National Monument website, and the French first used them in 1914, before the Germans and British also used them. At that time, cartridges, containing from 20 to 250 arrows, were dropped from aircraft or airships on enemy infantry, which made it possible to pierce the helmets of soldiers. If abandoned during World War II, this deadly projectile reappeared during the Vietnam War.

Regular use in the Gaza Strip

Despite the violence and inaccuracy, this weapon was never prohibited by international law. On the other hand, associations suggest that they should be used wisely. “Designed to penetrate dense vegetation and strike large numbers of enemy soldiers, darts should never be used in civilian populated areas”, reports Amnesty International in 2009. For several years, NGOs have denounced the use of these weapons by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. On April 16, 2008, a Reuters cameraman was killed.Several arrows surrounded by a shell fired by an Israeli tank, the news agency indicated in August of the same year. “Eight other civilians between the ages of 12 and 20She was also killed by these projectiles. The Israeli army justified the shooting by pointing to an error in the journalist’s camera portraying it as a weapon.

In 2014, Israel also bombed certain villages in the Gaza Strip with “arrows”, as France 24 recalls. Once again, the Israeli army admitted to using these weapons “In appropriate situationsAccording to TV, Israel has used this munition repeatedly since the second intifada (2000-2005). In Ukraine, an international investigation will determine whether the use of “arrow shells” violates international law and constitutes a war crime.

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