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24th Jun 2022

Russian missile does a U-turn during malfunction and smashes into troops who fired it

Kieran Galpin

The missiles cost £245m per unit

Footage taken from social media appears to show a Russian missile doing a complete U-turn and smashing back into the troops who fired it.

A short but dramatic video showcased the moment pro-Russian separatists fired rockets at the Ukrainian military in the city of Alchevsk, Luhansk. The attack reportedly happened in the early hours of Friday, with experts believing that a malfunction of some kind caused the issue.

According to the Face of War Telegram account, Russian soldiers launched the missile in an attempt to destroy Ukrainian aircraft.

The video shows the weapon swirling in the air before demolishing the same area it was launched from, with bright explosions lighting up the sky. The exact reason is currently unknown, and given the Kremlin’s secrecy, it’s doubtful a concrete conclusion will ever be reached.

But experts have suggested that the rocket, which costs £245m per unit, experienced a malfunction in its internal GPS tracking system. Others online have suggested that a nearby drone could have stopped the attack.

The number of casualties is not yet known, but secondary explosions did cause nearby homes to catch fire.

While this incident seems to be a mechanical fault, Ukraine has found great success in deploying the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone.

According to Oryx, a blog that tracks the destruction of military equipment through open-source reports, the drones are responsible for destroying six armoured fighting vehicles, five towed artillery, one multi-rocket launcher, two anti-aircraft guns, ten helicopters, six naval ships, three command posts, one communication station, and two logistics trains.

Forbes reports that Ukraine possessed 30 of these at the start of the war and has lost only eight.

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