VIDEO: This is the First Confirmed Destruction Of a Russian Air Defense System – Dramatic video footage released this week shows for the first time that a Russian Tor air defense system was destroyed by Ukrainian strikes.
The video, which was shared by the war-tracking Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker, was recorded by a rotary-blade unmanned aerial vehicle and starts by showing the Russian 9A331MDT Tor-M2DT from above, functioning as normally.
The first strike is followed by a second, which hits immediately next to the system, just feet away from Russian soldiers who were standing beside the vehicle attempting to put out the flames.
Soon after, the air defense system is seen completely destroyed, with thick black smoke billowing out from the top.
It is unknown whether any Russian troops operating the air defense system survived the attack.
In a post accompanying the video, Ukraine Weapons Tracker notes that this is the first documented example of the Tor-M2DT being destroyed by the Ukrainians.
“The first confirmed destruction of an esoteric Russian air defense system- the 9A331MDT Tor-M2DT, intended for use in Arctic environments,” the post reads.
“The SAM system was destroyed by the 406th Artillery Brigade along with a DT-30 carrier using M982 Excalibur guided projectiles.”
You can see the clip here.
Where Did It Happen in Ukraine?
The location of the strike was also confirmed by enthusiastic Twitter users.
One geotracker revealed how the strike took place west of Chelburda in Kherson Oblast, with the coordinates 46.615379, 32.907209. The air defense system was parked 13km to the east of Oleshky.
A post from user @blinkza also included stills of the video and satellite images of the area, with identifiable landmarks circled.
What Is the Tor-M2DT?
In December, reports revealed how Russia had begun deploying the Tor-M2DT, a rare arctic version of the Tor surface-to-air missile system, to the battlefield in Ukraine.
Russian state media revealed the thinking behind the decision, describing how the missile system is capable of deflecting large-scale enemy air raids.
The air-defense system was first revealed in 2017, with the first batch of the vehicles delivered to the Russian Armed Forces in 2018.
It is one of the most modern pieces of Russian weaponry on the battlefield.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.