A video has emerged that one of the Russian air defense missiles did a U-turn and smashed into the location from where it was launched. Reports indicate the air defense missile system, possibly an S300, was operated by Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists from the Luhansk People’s Republic.
The cause of the malfunction is unknown, but it’s speculated that it might be due to hacking or jamming by a loitering Ukraine drone, although this is unlikely.
The video, now viral, was reported to be filmed in the early hours near the town of Alchevsk, about 55 miles south of Severodonetsk. The clip shows the missile creating a large explosion on impact and showering the surrounding area in a bright cascade of sparks, believed to be caused by the missile’s fuel exploding.
Local media reported a fire erupted from the site not far from residential buildings. Thankfully, there were no causalities suffered by Russian and separatist forces.
So far, Ukraine has had substantial success throughout the three-month war employing loitering drones, notably the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone, to strike targets, a thing Russia’s much-vaunted anti-aircraft missile systems have struggled with to eliminate. Accordingly, Russia has been having far greater success with its concentrated artillery barrages, utilizing them to slowly push Ukrainian positions in Severodonetsk back at the cost of virtually razing the city to the ground.
In response, Ukraine has been demanding long-range, high-precision artillery missile systems from the West, as theirs ran out of ammunition, and Russia continually strikes their munitions factories and warehouses.
Ukraine’s military systems come from the United States, which announced it’s sending another $450milllion in fresh armaments, including four HIMARS rocket systems. In an update on Twitter yesterday, Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, wrote: “HIMARS has arrived to Ukraine. Thank you to my American colleague and friend, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III for these powerful tools! Summer will be hot for Russian occupiers. And the last one for some of them.”
Notably, the Ukrainians had already been pushed back from much of the city, leaving them in control of only industrial areas.
Sergiy Gaiday, the governor of Lugansk alleged Russians were now dancing towards Lysychansk, which has been facing increasingly heavy bombardment. It’s said the situation for those that remain in the city is increasingly bleak. Liliya Nesterenko, 39, reportedly said her house had no gas, water, or electricity and that she and her mother had been cooking on a campfire. But then, Liliya remains upbeat about the city’s defenses and believes in the Ukrainian army.
Earlier, a rep of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine told AFP the resistance of Ukrainian forces trying to defend Lysychansk and Severodonetsk was pointless and futile.
However, a similar incident, where a missile made a U-TURN had occurred in Saudi Arabia in 2018 when a US-made Patriot air Defence missile fired to intercept ballistic missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi Militia malfunctioned, turning around and crashing into a residential area in northeastern Riyadh.