During a rural training exercise this past weekend, a Russian military helicopter mistakenly fired on a group of parked cars with civilians in close proximity. The video of the incident was published by an onlooker dressed in military garb. One man in the video was “danger close” to the strike which blasted him off his feet.
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Russian news outlet, Yekaterinburg regional news, first broke the story and published the video. The outlet reported that two military helicopters were chasing a target in the “Zapad 2017” war games when one of them accidentally fired its weapons.
The rocket from the helicopter struck the ground and exploded near a group of civilians. The Telegraph reported two were injured and two of the parked civilian vehicles were destroyed.
When the missile hit, one man is seen walking near the soon-to-be explosion area and is effectively knocked on his back. A billow of smoke can be seen from the nearby explosion as the cameraman runs in terror before falling down.
The incident is said to have taken place Sept. 16. Reuters reported that an additional video was taken of the aftermath of the misfire, which showed windows of the nearby cars smashed and shrapnel damage in the doors of a nearby military vehicle.
The Russian Defence Ministry denied any injuries from the misfire in a statement released Tuesday. “As a result of a strike by an unguided rocket, a cargo vehicle with no people on board was damaged,” a spokesperson for the ministry said.
Information about “many people heavily injured” is either “deliberate provocation,” or “someone’s personal silliness,” the Ministry official said.
On Monday, a large crowd of over 100 journalists were present when Russian President, Vladimir Putin, spoke on the war games after a 45-minute mock battle took place.
According to the Washington Post, Zapad 2017 is a yearly exercise that shows Russian and Belarusan military units as they simulate a would-be attack from westerners.