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Perfidious message after ESC victory: Russians allegedly throw phosphorus bombs on Azovstal

Perfidious message after ESC victory
Russians reportedly drop phosphorus bombs on Azovstal

“Hell has come to earth.” A video shows a shower of fire falling on the Azov steel mill. The recordings are intended to show that the Russian military is using phosphorus bombs. Images of a disturbing symbol are also circulating in response to the Ukrainian ESC victory.

Russia has fired phosphorus bombs on the Azov steelworks in the port city of Mariupol, according to Ukrainian sources. “Hell has come to earth. To Azovstal,” Mariupol city council deputy Petro Andryushchenko wrote on Telegram. Such incendiary bombs are ignited by contact with oxygen and cause devastating damage.

Andryushchenko released a video with aerial photos showing a rain of fire falling on the steel mill. Artillery shelling of the industrial zone could also be seen on the previously unverifiable recordings of unclear origin. Phosphorus weapons are not explicitly prohibited under international law; however, a 1980 arms convention outlaws their use against civilians and in urban areas. They can cause severe burns and poisoning.

As the “Frankfurter Rundschau” writes, the chemical reaction of white phosphorus with oxygen produces a flame of up to 1300 degrees Celsius. In contact with the skin, the substance causes painful and severe second and third degree burns. The chances of a cure are slim. According to the newspaper, it is controversial whether phosphorus bombs should be classified as chemical weapons due to their toxicity. If an adult absorbs the substance directly, 50 milligrams are fatal after a short time. Death occurs after five to ten days.

Defenders don’t want to surrender

In addition to the video sequences mentioned, Andryushchenko also published images showing inscriptions on bombs. Accordingly, the Russian military is said to have reacted to Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). It is not yet clear where these photos came from.

The alleged bombs read in Russian: “Kalusha, as requested! Auf Azovstal” and in English “Help Mariupol – Help Azovstal right now” (in German: Helft Mariupol – Help Azovstal immediately) with the date May 14. The singer of the band Kalusha Orchestra, which won the ESC, said these words in an appeal on the stage in Turin.

Hate comments read that the phosphorus bombs were the Russian salute to the ESC victory. Russian media reported the victory that night, but unlike in previous years, state television was not allowed to show the show. Russia has been excluded from the ESC because of the war of aggression against Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 defenders of Mariupol are holed up in the steelworks. They refuse Russian calls to surrender. With regard to the shelling of the steelworks, the Russian hate comments also read that the fighters had now had enough time to get out of the industrial zone. The Ukrainian government has said it will do everything it can to save Mariupol’s defenders.

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