Accidental fire during military exercises: What really happened?

On Sept. 19 social media users were shocked by the video of a helicopter attacking the public during military exercises in Russia. Here is what we know about it.

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Russian 66.ru news outlet reported an accident during the Zapad-2017 Russian-Belorussian military drills. The source said that battle helicopters opened fire by mistake, burning two cars and injuring at least two people.

66.ru said that the accident happened on Sept. 18, but later military officials denied this information. “All reports on social media about an ‘attack on a crowd of journalists’ and ‘a big number of seriously injured individuals’ is a deliberate provocation or somebody’s individual stupidity,” a representative of the Western Military District told Russian Kommersant daily.

According to him, the video shows an accident that happened on Sept. 16 when the military helicopter Ka-52 “Alligator” experienced the spontaneous descent of an unguided rocket during exercises at the Luzhsky training ground in Russia’s Leningrad Region.

“The guidance system of one of the helicopters captured the wrong target by mistake. As a result, the missile flew into one of the trucks,” the representative said, pointing out that no one was hurt.

The accident didn’t affect the Zapad-2017 exercises. As Kommersant reports, the training continued the next day and two days after the accident Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Luzhsky training ground.

The Zapad-2017 joint military exercises have been taking place on nine different training grounds in Russia and Belarus. They kicked off Sept. 14 and end today, Sept. 20. A total of 12,700 soldiers from both countries are participating in the maneuvers.

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

We've got more than 1,7 million followers on Facebook. Join them!
Read more

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies