Russian forces in Ukraine may have used thermobaric weapons and cluster bombs, according to reports from the Ukraine government and human rights groups.

If true, this represents an escalation in brutality that should alarm us all.

While cluster munitions are banned by international convention, thermobaric munitions – also known as fuel-air explosive devices, or “vacuum bombs” – are not explicitly prohibited for use against military targets.

These devastating devices, which create an oxygen-eating fireball followed by a deadly shockwave, are far more powerful than most other conventional weapons.