Documenting the unthinkable
The use of fléchettes in Bucha
Metal arrows found in civilians
Found in the bodies of several men and women
Relics from WWI
Like minature arrows
Up to 8,000 fléchettes in a shell
Fléchettes can cause two wounds
A violation of humanitarian law
Used in Vietnam
France and Ukraine working together to document war crimes
Hundreds of civilians killed
Disfigured and mutiliated
Automatic gunfire and cluster bombs
Bucha was hit hard
Using banned munitions is highly populated areas
Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(1/17)
Documenting the unthinkable

Pathologists and coroners are trying their best to quickly document the atrocities committed in Ukraine, particularly in Bucha, by the Russian army before evidence can be disposed of.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(2/17)
The use of fléchettes in Bucha

The most recent discovery is the use of small metal darts called fléchettes which have been found in the bodies of civilians in Bucha.

 

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(3/17)
Metal arrows found in civilians

According to The Guardian, forensic doctors say that dozens of civilians killed by Russians were found with the tiny metal arrows embedded in their heads and chests.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(4/17)
Found in the bodies of several men and women

Dr. Vladyslave Pirovskyi, a Ukrainian forensic doctor, told The Guardian, “We found several really thin, nail-like objects in the bodies of men and women, and so did others of my colleagues...The majority of these bodies come from the Bucha-Irpin region.”

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(5/17)
Relics from WWI

The Washington Post reported that fléchettes are not often used in modern-day combat; the anti-personnel weapon was widely used during the first world war.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(6/17)
Like minature arrows

Even though these tiny projectiles that look like miniature arrows are only three centimeters long, they are incredibly damaging.

 

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(7/17)
Up to 8,000 fléchettes in a shell

Shells are packed with up to 8,000 fléchettes and explode in a conical pattern, at times dispersing across an area as large as three football fields wide.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(8/17)
Fléchettes can cause two wounds

Upon impact with a human body, the fléchette often bends into a hook-like shape, and the end, which consists of four fins, can break away and cause a second wound.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(9/17)
A violation of humanitarian law

For years human rights groups have attempted to have fléchette shells banned; however, they are not prohibited under international law. But using imprecise lethal weapons in highly populated civilian areas is considered a war crime as it violates humanitarian law.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(10/17)
"They should never be used in built-up civilian areas."

According to Amnesty International, "Fléchettes are an anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation and to strike a large number of enemy soldiers. They should never be used in built-up civilian areas."

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(11/17)
Used in Vietnam

The Washington Post reported that the use of fléchettes first drew attention and concern when the United States used them during the Vietnam War. Since then, the weapon's use has been avoided in conflicts, but it has not been banned.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(12/17)
France and Ukraine working together to document war crimes

France has sent a team of eighteen experts from the country's forensic department to work alongside forensic investigators from Kyiv to document the war crimes committed against civilians during the month-long occupation of the city of Bucha by the Russian military.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(13/17)
Hundreds of civilians killed

When the Russian forces were ordered to retreat from Bucha by the end of March following the invasion, mass graves containing the bodies of hundreds of civilians who appeared to have been massacred were discovered.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(14/17)
Disfigured and mutiliated

Dr. Pirovsky told The Guardian, "We are seeing a lot mutilated (disfigured) bodies. A lot of them had their hands tied behind their backs and shots in the back of their heads."

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(15/17)
Automatic gunfire and cluster bombs

The atrocities that authorities discovered did not end there. Pirovsky also said, "There were also cases with automatic gunfire, like six to eight holes on the back of victims. And we have several cases of cluster bombs' elements embedded in the bodies of the victims."

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(16/17)
Bucha was hit hard

The city of Bucha has been the grounds of some of the most severe atrocities committed by Russian soldiers.

Noticias
Fléchettes found in Bucha victims: evidence of Russian war crimes continues to grow
(17/17)
Using banned munitions is highly populated areas

Independent weapons experts reviewed evidence collected by the Guardian in the city and determined that the Russians also used banned cluster munitions and potent unguided bombs in highly populated areas.

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