The military exercise was a part of “Zapad-2017,” meaning "West-2017," Russia's largest war games since the Cold War.
In a shocking new video, a Russian military helicopter engaged in a training exercise appears to fire a rocket at civilian spectators.
Reuters reports that during a training exercise in a rural area of western Russia mistakenly fired rockets at a group of parked cars and civilian spectators.
This video clip first surfaced this Tuesday on the Russian independent news site Fontanka.ru and shows the helicopter firing a rocket at a military truck covered in camouflage netting parked next to a number of civilian vehicles and people.
They state that the incident recorded on the video occurred last Monday, September 18th. They also confirmed that the incident left at least one person heavily concussed.
In the footage, at least one person can be seen to be knocked down by the force of this blast. A civilian standing near the truck can be seen engulfed by a cloud of dust from the blast, and the man filming is sent flying to the ground.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s western military district released a statement through the Russian news agency Interfax stating that the helicopter’s targeting system had mistakenly acquired a target.
In their statement, they say that “As a result of a strike by an unguided rocket, a cargo vehicle with no people on board was damaged.”
They deny that anyone had been injured in the mistake.
This military exercise was likely a part of the “Zapad-2017” war games taking place in the area that this video was filmed. These war games simulate a war on Russia’s western front, the one that borders NATO nations. These tests represent the largest war games Russia has engaged in since the end of the Cold War.
While these war games do not officially break international laws, many countries are eyeing these military exercises with suspicion.