Video appears to show the dramatic moment a Russian missile boomerangs and plunges to earth

  • Videos appear to show a failed Russian missile launch from Luhansk, Ukraine.

  • The unverified videos show the missile launching into the sky before u-turning and exploding on the ground.

  • It is not clear what caused the malfunction. The explosion could have been caused by unspent fuel.

A dramatic video circulating on social media claims to show a failed Russian air defense system missile launch from the city of Alchevsk in Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine.

The video shows what appears to be a missile speeding upwards into the sky before circling back and hitting the ground near its launch point in a burst of light that looks like fireworks.


The first video was originally shared by the Face Of War Telegram channel. The city of Alchevsk, where the incident is said to have occurred, is in eastern Ukraine, partly occupied by pro-Russian separatists.

Another video posted on Telegram by Inform Napalm, a volunteer initiative that monitors the Russia-Ukraine war, appears to show multiple clips of the same incident from different angles.

Smoke trails in the sky suggest that three defense missiles had already been fired.

Russian can be heard being spoken in some of the clips. Insider was unable to verify the videos independently. There is no information on whether there were any injuries from the missile malfunction.

An analysis from Snopes, a fact-checking website, confirmed that the videos did appear to show a Russian missile landing short of where other missiles had been launched in the minutes prior, likely due to some sort of malfunction.

However, Snopes noted no evidence to suggest the launch site was struck or that any Russian troops were killed or injured.

It is unclear what might have caused the malfunction and whether the incident caused any damage or casualties.

The large explosion was likely caused by unspent fuel blowing up on impact, as surface-to-air missiles do not carry large explosive warheads, according to The Telegraph.

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