Russian helicopter accidentally fires on spectators at drills

Posted September 20, 2017

At least two vehicles were destroyed, whereas two people, most likely journalists, suffered serious injuries, the source said.

The incident reportedly took place at the Luzhsky range near St. Petersburg either on Monday or Sunday.

The 66.ru website, which published the video, said it believed the incident took place yesterday or the day before, but could not be certain. The report said that one person was hospitalized.

By September 20, Russia and Belarus, the only Kremlin ally with a point of action towards the Baltic Sea area, will be deployed on Thursday, September 2017, the largest military exercise of the Russian forces since the Cold War.

Tracer bullets lit up the murky skyline, battle tanks churned across muddy terrain, shells exploded, helicopters fired missiles, planes roared overhead and hundreds of paratroopers and armored vehicles were dropped from the skies.

The major exercises have elicited criticism from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the USA, who say Russian Federation has concealed the true number of troops taking part, and troubled some observers in Eastern Europe, where the Kremlin's invasion of Crimea in 2014 remains fresh.

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The military exercises are taking place from September 14-20 in western Russian Federation and include 13,000 military personnel from Russian Federation and Belarus.

Three people were injured in the incident at the Zapad 2017 drills, a source close to the Russian Ministry of Defence told RBC news agency.

Russian forces are collaborating with Belarusian troops in the war games, which simulate a scenario where a hostile "Western Coalition" seeks to overthrow the Belarus government and split it away from Russia.

"The aiming system of one of the helicopters mistakenly captured a target, and an unguided missile hit a truck, in which there were no people", the press service explained.

". The missiles went off by themselves", the 66.ru website reported, quoting an unnamed "informed source".