Amid Russia's largest wargames yet, with over 100,000 taking part in "Zapad 2017" according to NATO, independent news site Fontanka.ru has released footage of a rather shocking event.
Reuters reports that a military helicopter on a rural training exercise in western Russia mistakenly fired rockets at a group of parked vehicles, knocking at least one person to the ground, footage posted by Russian news sites and on social media showed.
The clip below shows a helicopter firing a salvo of rockets at a military truck covered in camouflage netting in open countryside, with three vehicles with no military markings visible, parked a few meters away. A man in civilian clothes who had been standing close to the truck was engulfed in a cloud of dust. The person filming the clip, who was slightly further away, could be seen sprawled on the ground.
The Russian Defence Ministry’s western military district, in a statement cited by Interfax news agency, said that during a training exercise a helicopter’s targeting system had mistakenly acquired a target, but denied anyone had been injured.
The representative cited by Interfax did not say when the incident happened, or where, or if the exercise was part of the “Zapad-2017” war games.
“As a result of a strike by an unguided rocket, a cargo vehicle with no people on board was damaged,” Interfax quoted a representative of the military district as saying.