Russian forces in Ukraine may have用过的热电武器和集群炸弹根据乌克兰政府和人权团体的报道。
While cluster munitions are banned by international convention, thermobaric munitions – also known as fuel-air explosive devices, or “vacuum bombs” – are not explicitly prohibited用于抵抗军事目标．
What are thermobaric weapons?
Thermobaric weapons are generally deployed as rockets or bombs, and they work by releasing fuel and explosive charges. Different fuels can be used, including toxic powdered metals and organic matter containing oxidant.
The explosive charge disperses a large cloud of fuel which then ignites in contact with the oxygen in the surrounding air. This creates a high-temperature fireball and a massive shockwave that literally sucks the air out of any living being in the vicinity.
A 1990 CIA report, cited by人权观察，注意到热电爆炸在密闭空间中的影响：
据信，苏联在1969年的中苏冲突期间使用了对中国的热剂武器，在1979年在阿富汗收购了该国的一部分。报告edlyprovided them to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Why some weapons are banned, even in war
Although thermobaric weapons are not yet unequivocally banned, there are several points that argue against their development and use.
国际人道主义法stipulates what is and is not permissible during warfare. There has long been an understanding that even wars have their limits: while some weapons are considered legal, others are not, precisely because they violate key principles of humanitarian law.
日内瓦公约禁止使用武器在不加区分的攻击中 - 那些无法区分战斗人员和平民的攻击。
A thermobaric weapon might be targeted specifically at military installations and personnel, but its effects cannot be contained to one area. In all likelihood, many civilians would be killed if such bombs were used in any city.
Using explosive weapons in populated areas would result in indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. Aerial bombs, even if aimed at military objectives, pose a grave threat to civilians because of their wide blast radius.
禁止这些武器的努力尚未产生明确的禁令．The 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (commonly called the “Inhumane Weapons Convention”) addresses incendiary weapons, but states have managed to avoid an explicit ban on thermobaric bombs.
In addition to the impacts on civilians, thermobaric bombs would cause superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering. Under international humanitarian law, they should not be used.
Cluster bombs and nuclear weapons
It is not only thermobaric weapons that cause us concern in the current war.
Ukraine’s government and human rights groups say Russia has also used cluster munitions. These are bombs or rockets that release a cluster of smaller “bomblets” over a wide area.
群集弹药是banned under an international convention in 2008．Russia has not signed (nor has the US, China or India), but until now it has largely respected the convention’s provisions.
Perhaps of greatest concern, however, is Moscow’s nuclear weapons arsenal. President Vladimir Putin has强烈暗示他有可能愿意使用它们，使俄罗斯核力量高度戒备，并警告说，干扰入侵的国家将面临“您从未见过的后果”。
俄罗斯拥有大约6,000个核武器和冲突的升级could result in their use– either deliberately or inadvertently during the fog of war.
Putin is not the only one to have made threats like this. The US holds around 5,500 nuclear weapons of its own, and its nuclear policy promises nuclear devastation to opponents.
Even the British and French resort to nuclear pressure, and美国前总统唐纳德·特朗普在威胁朝鲜时，使用了类似的语言。但是普京的声明甚至超出了这些威胁。
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