Video Shows Russian TOR-M2 Missile System Fired Warhead at Itself

Russian short-range missile system appears to have backfired when attempting to attack Ukrainian positions, according to a video circulating on Ukrainian media.

A Russian TOR air defense system appears to fire a missile which quickly spins back down to earth close to where the system is positioned, in a video shared on social media platforms such on Telegram and Twitter.

The video was tweeted by a number of accounts, including @NOELreports, which focuses on conflict zones. “Russian TOR at work. I will leave the comments up to you,” it said in a comment on the video, which has been viewed more than half a million times. It is not known when the video was shot.

The TOR system, which comes in several variants, is a Russian mobile air defense system that has been one of Ukraine’s military targets throughout the war. It is designed to take down enemy aircraft, drones, guided missiles and other precision munitions at medium to low altitudes.

According to Dutch open-source outlet Oryx, Russia has lost 36 Tor systems in total since the outbreak of full-scale war in Ukraine in February 2022. However, this count only includes losses that are visually verified, and the true tally could be higher.

The Tor systems are also known by their NATO reporting name, the SA-15 Gauntlet, and can engage targets at a distance of up to around 10 miles, according to the U.S. think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The system entered development in the 1980s, and debuted in 1986, according to the CSIS. The TOR-M, the first upgraded version of the original system, entered service in 1991, the think tank said. A later version, the TOR-M2, was designed to target incoming threats such as a large number of drones.

Ukraine’s military has previously shared footage of Tor systems being destroyed in combat operations, including ones which were targeted by drones.

This comes as Ukraine’s long-touted counteroffensive gathers pace, with analysts saying Ukraine has made some progress in retaking Russian-controlled territory over the weekend.

The Institute for the Study of War, a prominent Washington-based think tank, said on Sunday that Ukraine had made “territorial gains” after launching counteroffensive operations on at least three points of the current frontline. The British Defense Ministry indicated on Saturday that there had been “significant Ukrainian operations” in contested parts of the country over the previous day.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that Ukraine’s armed forces had started to push back Russian fighters, but declined to provide further details.

Ahead of Zelensky’s confirmation, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said there was “absolute certainty that this offensive has begun,” but that Ukraine’s troops had so far not achieved their goals.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reiterated that Ukraine had “continued to attempt offensive operations” to the south and east of the country.

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