Putins invading troops using lethal WW1-era metal darts in bombing raids

Russian troops could be turning back the clock by more than a century after they were reportedly found to be using 'dart' weapons usually associated with World War 1.

Locals in the Ukrainian city of Bucha say their homes and gardens have been showered with lethal metal darts, which are thought to have been released from Russian artillery shells during last month's devastating occupation of the town.

Military experts say that the tiny projectiles known as flechettes are not usually seen in modern warfare, having been widely used most recently in the Vietnam War.

Despite their tiny size at around three centimetres in length, the weapons are highly deadly and can penetrate soft cover to inflict lethal damage when fired at high speed.

Local woman Svitlana Chmut told the Washington Post that she had returned home in the last few days to find the darts embedded in her car and scattered across her garden.

"If you look closely on the ground around my house, you will find a lot more of them," said Ms Chmut, 54.

The artillery is not prohibited by international conventions, but some human rights groups criticise their use as “indiscriminate weapons” which could seriously injure civilians even if they were aimed at military formations.

Commenting on their use in Ukraine, Amnesty International said: "They should never be used in built-up civilian areas."

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The darts are not thought to pose a danger to people inside buildings.

Meanwhile Britain is set to send Stormer armoured missiles to Ukraine to help blast Vladimir Putin's aircraft out of the sky, according to reports.

It is understood the 13-tonne vehicles can be flown to the war on C-17 transport planes in days.

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