A deadly Russian plechet projectile hit a house in the Ukrainian village of Irfin. Residents “Anywhere”

Klimashevskyi pointed to a wall dotted with black darts and said, “You can’t take it out by hand. You have to use forceps.”

Dubbed Flechettes, French for “little arrows,” these sharp, 1-inch-long projectiles were a brutal invention of World War I, used by the Allies to strike as many enemies as possible. They are packed in shells that are fired by tanks. When the shells detonate, thousands of projectiles are scattered over a large area.

Flechette shells are not prohibited, but due to their indiscriminate nature their use in civilian areas is prohibited under humanitarian law. They tear, twist and bend the body, causing serious damage and can be fatal.

The United States used the weapon during the Vietnam War, and the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs accused Israeli forces of using it against civilians in Gaza in 2010. report by the US State Department. But other than that, it was rarely used in modern warfare.

After retreating from villages and villages north of Kyiv occupied by Russian forces in March, evidence emerged that they were used by Russian forces during the attack.

Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, is not the only place where evidence of that has appeared.

In the village of Andriivka, about 20 kilometers west of Irpin, farmer Vadim Bozhko told CNN that he had found plechets scattered along the road leading to his house. Bozhko and his wife hid in the basement when his house was bombed. It was almost completely destroyed by shells.

According to Liudmila Denisova, the Ukrainian human rights ombudsman, the darts were also found on the bodies of people killed in a car on the outskirts of Kyiv.
“After the liberation of the city in the Kyiv region, new atrocities have come to light,” Denisova said last month.

“Forensic experts found plechet in the bodies of Bucha and Irpin residents. [Russians] Denisova said in a statement that “the shells were fired and used to bomb residential buildings in cities and suburbs.” It is unclear whether plechet killed the victims.

Hundreds of metal darts are still lodged deep into the walls of Volodymyr Klimashevskyi's house in Irpin.
This photo, taken on Friday, May 13, shows a plechet projectile pierced into the wall of another civilian home in Irpin.

57-year-old Klimashevskyi still clearly remembers the day the flechettes started raining on him. It was March 5th and he was lying in the house, hiding his body on the floor away from the window. A shell hit the house next door, but it didn’t explode.

He said the darts covered the area and destroyed his car windshield.

Russian forces left bombs, deaths and destruction around Kyiv.  Tough mine clearance is now underway.

His neighbors Anzhelika Kolomiec, 53, and Ihor Novohatniy, 64, fled Irpin during their worst battles in March. When they returned a few weeks later, they said they had found numerous plechets scattered around the gardens and on the roof tops.

They are kept in glass bottles on the patio. Sometimes they add something else.

“We’re looking for them everywhere,” Novohatniy said, pointing to the darts still lodged in the roof of the terrace. “These are sticking out. [of the roof]But it usually spreads around.”

Anzhelika Kolomiec and Ihor Novohatniy show their friend Olegh Bondarenko metal darts scattered around their property.
This photo, taken on Friday, May 13, shows a pleshet projectile found in a private home in Irfin, Ukraine.

When they were finally able to go home, Kolomiec did what she does every spring. She took care of her garden and planted salad leaves, onions and other plants.

As she dug around, she kept looking for small metal darts that Russian soldiers were shooting at her and her house. But that didn’t stop her from doing her favorite thing, remembering those horrible days.

“I love gardening. It’s not a lot of space, but last year I had hundreds of tomatoes and gave them to all my friends. I didn’t get any tomatoes this year, but I have arugula and onions and some tomatoes. Flowers.”

CNN’s Gul Tuysuz in Andriivka contributed to the report.


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