Russian helicopter accidentally fires on spectators at drills

Posted September 20, 2017

The over-arching Zapad war games, which began on September 14 and run to September 20, are taking place in western Russia, Russia's exclave of Kaliningrad, and Belarus, a Russian ally which borders Ukraine as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. 2017 military manoeuvres have caused concern among some North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members neighboring Russian Federation, who have criticised a lack of transparency about the exercises and questioned Moscow's intentions.

The Russian military acknowledged that a helicopter accidentally fired a rocket during drills, but did not say when and where it happened.

A number of people were injured in western Russian Federation after a military helicopter accidentally fired at least one rocket near a group of onlookers, according to media reports.

In the video, two helicopters are seen approaching a vehicle.

A ministry of defense press release last Sunday, the night before Putin arrived, said that Zapad exercises with Ka-52 helicopters had successfully carried out rocket strikes on ground targets at the Luzhsky range.

Life.ru said the rocket exploded near a crowd of journalists, military experts and foreign military attaches. Life.ru also posted a cockpit video, showing the rocket's impact. On September 18, Russian leader Vladimir Putin visited it to inspect the drills.

The incident took place on Tuesday when, according to an unnamed source, a technical glitch caused one Ka-52 helicopter to fire air-to-surface missiles in the direction of bystanders, likely journalists.

A subseqent video showed the damage left by the incident.

The exercises began on Thursday across several firing ranges in both countries, and are due to run into Wednesday.

"The targeting system of one of the helicopters locked onto the wrong target".