Russian helicopter fires missile at spectators at drills

Neighbors fret as Putin, Russia kick off war games on border with Europe

However, the exact day when the horrific accident has happened is not known, but it's believed it was on 17 or 18 September, one day before the visit of President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Soigu at the same polygon.

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.

The Zapad joint strategic exercise, with troops from Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, started on September 14.

A second video from the same location, which was posted on social media by Russian investigative bloggers Conflict Intelligence Team, showed the aftermath, including a smashed window in a white jeep nearest to the truck, and shrapnel damage to the military truck.

The press service did not say when the incident occurred and it was not clear whether it was denying that it happened during Zapad 2017, which started on September 14.

As part of the same drills, Russian Federation on Monday said it had successfully test fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, hitting a target at a firing range in Kazakhstan about 480 km (300 miles) away.

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Russian media reports a malfunction of equipment occurred, which led to two rockets blasting off on their own and striking an area near to parked cars and three people.

The week-long drills in Western Russia and neighboring Belarus kicked off last week, with around 13,000 troops, hundreds of tanks, aircraft, warships and other military hardware participating. The rocket hit a truck on the ground.

Russia's defence ministry said no-one was injured in the incident.

"The targeting system of one of the helicopters made an erroneous target", the military's statement said.

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.

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