Russian Helicopter Fires Into Observation Area With Civilian Bystanders

That’ll mess up your day.  On 19 September, a video was posted showing a Russian Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter firing air-to-ground rockets near an observation area where civilian vehicles were parked, as civilians watched the action at a Russian training range.  Three people were reportedly injured.

The event was said to be at the Luzhsky firing range south of St. Petersburg, and to have taken place during the ongoing major exercise Zapad (“West”) 2017.  Later reporting suggested the rocket firing occurred on 16 September, prior to Vladimir Putin’s appearance at the Luzhsky range on 18 September to inspect the exercise action.  The Russian military has said it was accidental.

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The exercise is being held at locations in western Russia, Belarus, and the Kaliningrad enclave, very close to the border with Poland and the Baltic Republics.  So there’s a natural tendency in the NATO West, on hearing about the helicopter event, to wonder



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