Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Two injured in Russian, Belarusian war games

Russian Helicopters May Have Fired on Bystanders at Zapad Military Drills Iskander-M missile hits target in Kazakhstan at Zapad-2017 drills
Andrew Cummings | 20 September, 2017, 00:58

The video released on the online 66.ru, RBC and Life.ru news portals showed a pair of Ka-52 helicopter gunships sweeping low at the Luzhsky range, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the border with Estonia, during the Zapad (West) 2017 maneuvers.

The Russian party acknowledges the fact of the incident, but reports that the blow on the published video was recorded elsewhere and at another time.

Fontanka.ru said the incident occurred on September 18 and left one person with concussion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the exercises on Monday.

According to local media, two people - it claimed to be journalists - were left seriously injured after the military mishap.

Russian Federation and Belarus kept the stated number of troops involved in the drills just below 13,000, a limit allowing them to dodge more intrusive inspections by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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The Zapad-2017 is, most of the times, organized in Belarus, in the ultra-militarized enclave of Kaliningrad and in several regions of northwestern Russian Federation.

Russian military drills with Belarus are in full swing and NATO's top general says allies' fears that the war games would be "larger than what they told us", have proved correct.

Russia is now staging the "Zapad 2017" war games in the area, major exercises on NATO's eastern flank that were inspected on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The targeting system of one of the helicopters made an erroneous target", the military's statement said.

"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.

The St. Petersburg-based news site Fontanka.ru website in St. Petersburg, citing unnamed sources, reported that three missiles were fired at an area where civilian and military vehicles were parked late on September 18.

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