11 dead, 15 injured in apparent insider attack at Russian training site
At least 11 people have died and 15 injured after two soldiers staged an apparent insider attack at a military installation in southwestern Russia.
The attack took place earlier in the day during a shooting practice session for soldiers preparing to deploy to Ukraine. The two men, who were to train at the Belgorod site, turned their guns on others and opened fire. They killed nearly a dozen people before being shot down. It is not known how many soldiers were at the scene or how long the shooting lasted.
“On October 15, two citizens of a CEI [Commonwealth of Independent States] The country committed an act of terror at the Western Military District training ground in the Belgorod region,” the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters today.
According to Russian news agency TASS, law enforcement officers are investigating the shooting. The 15 injured people were transported to nearby hospitals.
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Russian media and the Defense Ministry called the attackers terrorists, but The Associated Press identified them as volunteer soldiers from an “ex-Soviet nation.” It is unclear which national troops from the nine-member bloc were present on the firing range today when the insider attack took place. The Belgorod region borders northeast Ukraine and has been hit in recent days by a series of explosions, apparently due to Ukrainian attacks.
This is apparently the first insider attack with the Russian military since the invasion of Ukraine began in February, and one of the deadliest incidents with Russian troops in Russia.
The attack is the latest act of violence against the Russian military after President Vladimir Putin mobilized 220,000 reservists to gain 300,000 new troops to bolster his invasion force. At the end of September, a 25-year-old man shot a recruiter at a recruitment office in Siberia to protest against the mobilization. Military enlistment buildings were also hit by arson. There have also been several protests in Russian cities, which have resulted in mass arrests – more than 10,000 – and police violence against protesters.
Russia is sending these called-up troops to Ukraine with minimal training to try to regain momentum in the fight, even if it suffers setbacks in northeastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s rapid recapture of areas in the Kharkiv region saw it not only repel Russian forces, but also capture several Russian tanks.
These new recruits are reportedly poorly trained, with the army relying on the reserves’ previous experience and rapidly deploying them to Ukraine to fight.
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