A dramatic video has emerged that shows a rogue Russian surface-to-air missile that makes a 180-degree turn midair after being fired and then slams back almost exactly at the same location from where it was fired. The malfunctioning missile fell on Russian soldiers and then exploded. The incident happened in the Luhansk region.
A video of the incident has since gone viral on social media. The short video was reportedly shot in the pro-Russian separatist-occupied city of Alchevsk in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, which is at the center of the country's conflict. It is not known how many Russian soldiers died or were wounded in the incident.
The video was shot in the early morning on Friday in Alchevsk where the fiercest fighting has been raging. According to reports, pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine from the secessionist Luhansk People's Republic were operating the air defense missile system, which may have been an S300.
The surface-to-air missile was launched to intercept an oncoming Ukrainian plane. However, the tracking system went haywire a few seconds later and the missile made a U-turn and was sent back to its origin.
The video captures a massive explosion and dazzling flashes flying down from the crash location. The video was first posted on the messaging service Telegram by the channel Face of War, which has been posting footage of the fighting since it began.
Rob Lee, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, also shared it and tweeted: "This is reportedly footage of a failed Russian air defense system missile launch from Alchevsk, Luhansk Oblast."
There is no news yet on any casualties suffered in the blast.
Although it is doubtful, some have speculated that the issue may have been caused by a loitering Ukrainian drone jamming or hacking the system. However, there has been no confirmation from the Russian side.
Although the precise SAM system seen in the video is unknown, each Russian S-400 missile system costs over $300 million. It is the most recent instance of horrifying equipment failure in Putin's army.
A similar incident of a missile backfiring occurred earlier also. In 2018, a US-made Patriot air defense missile malfunctioned in Saudi Arabia as it crashed into a civilian neighborhood in northeastern Riyadh. The missile was meant to intercept ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi group.
This comes as Russian forces continue to suffer losses at the hands of Ukrainian soldiers. Russia's much-heralded anti-aircraft missile systems have had difficulty neutralizing Ukraine's use of loitering drones to attack targets throughout the three-month conflict, most notably the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone.
On Wednesday, a Ukrainian drone ploughed into a Russian oil refinery. On Friday morning, a Russian military plane crashed killing four en route to the war in Ukraine.
Russia's much-heralded anti-aircraft missile systems have had difficulty neutralizing Ukraine's use of loitering drones to attack targets throughout the three-month conflict, most notably the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone.
However, with its focused artillery barrages, Russia has had much more success, using them to gradually drive Ukrainian troops in Severodonetsk back at the expense of practically razing the city to the rest.
As a result of Russia frequently attacking their munitions factories and storage and their own artillery running out of ammo, Ukraine has been demanding long-range, high-precision artillery missile weapons from the West.