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Russian navy launches barrage of cruise missiles in drills

Russian navy launches barrage of cruise missiles in drills”

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation says it is watching the exercise with "calm and confidence", while Russian President Vladimir Putin was at a demonstration where Russian forces repelled an imaginary enemy.

A helicopter accidentally fired at civilians during Russia's Zapad 2017 wargames, an event which was captured on video by bystanders.

In the footage two rockets are clearly visible streaking towards a military-type truck.

Interfax did not say when the incident happened, or where, or if the exercise was part of the Zapad-2017 war games. According to the sources, three people were lightly injured and two cars damaged, and the military is already carrying out an investigation.

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. It said the accident happened Sunday or Monday, and that the video was provided by an unidentified witness.

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Russia's Ministry of Defence, however, denied the suggestions that people were injured. The left helicopter then fires a rocket which hits a cargo vehicle directly in front of the person recording.

The Russian military's Western Military District acknowledged Tuesday that the video was genuine.

In a statement quoted by the state-run RT website, a spokesperson said: "All the reports on social media about a barrage of rockets hitting a crowd of journalist and a large number of casualties are either a deliberate provocation or someone's personal stupidity".

The incident reportedly took place at the same firing range where, on Monday, president Vladimir Putin watched artillery and aircraft conduct drills as part of the huge, Zapad 2017 exercises, which have drawn intense attention in recent weeks and anxious countries in eastern Europe.

The military said the incident was caused by the failure of the helicopter's targeting system.

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