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Candy Bombs: Ukraine’s Disturbing Strategy Amid Dwindling NATO Ammo Supply

Ukraine’s unconventional approach to the use of artillery and missiles in the Donbas conflict has left both Western and Russian observers perplexed. Troops are depleting their precious NATO-caliber ammunition; now, a sinister and cost-effective workaround has emerged.

Enthusiast weapons makers in Ukraine and Europe are churning out cheap, homemade munitions with casings made of 3D-printed colorful plastics, carrying childish whimsical names like “Little Rabbit”, “Big Egg,” and “Zefirka” (inspired by a popular confectionery treat).

While these colorful munitions may look playful (hence the name “candy bombs”), their impact is far from innocent. They are equipped with C4 explosives, combined with steel shrapnel, ball bearings, or copper and aluminum. Their deadly design is meant for drone delivery, targeting both people and armored vehicles.

The game-changer lies in the price of the shells, which can be manufactured for as little as $3.85 each.

Enthusiast weapons makers in Ukraine and Europe have ramped up production, crafting thousands of these sinister devices monthly. One group of amateur bomb-makers in Kiev reportedly produces about 4,000 casings monthly. Another group in Ukraine has churned out over 30,000 in the past four months.

To optimize their lethality, makers experiment with different materials, switching from nails to metal pieces after tests demonstrated vaporization issues. Larger “candy bombs” tailored to penetrate armored vehicles are packed with copper and aluminum mixtures, transforming into plasma jets.

This disturbing trend has alarmed experts, with even amateur engineers seeking advice from AI platforms like ChatGPT to refine their craft. While Ukraine’s drones are reportedly equipped with over 200 types and sizes of these munitions, efforts to standardize production are underway.

However, the proliferation of homemade bomb-making in Ukraine spells catastrophic consequences for civilians in Donbas, already enduring daily terror shelling from conventional artillery and missiles, including US-made HIMARS and British Storm Shadows.

The Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC) reported over 4,500 civilian deaths and 4,430+ injuries by Ukrainian forces between February 2022 and May 2023, with over 100 civilians wounded by PFM-1 Petal anti-personnel landmines, a weapon class Ukraine was obligated to destroy as part of the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

As the Ukrainian military faces ammunition shortages, concerns escalate over the potential use of cluster bombs against non-combatants. President Biden’s decision to send such munitions to Ukraine reflects the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the critical impact of ammunition supplies on the ongoing conflict.

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#Ukraine #UkraineRussiaWar #ClusterBombs #ClusterMunition #Russia #NATO #Kyiv #BidenAdmin #Military #

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