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Attack at Russian training ground kills 11 — ministry

October 15, 2022

Russia's Defense Ministry said that two volunteer soldiers opened fire at a military training ground in southwestern Russia near the border with Ukraine. At least 11 people were killed.

A training session at a firing range in southern Russia, undated archive image.
Russian conscripts shoot during a training session at a firing range in southern RussiaImage: AP/dpa/picture alliance

At least 11 people were killed and 15 were injured on Saturday when two volunteer soldiers opened fire at a military training ground in Russia's southwest, Russian news agencies reported.

Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement that the shooting took place in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine. It called the incident a terrorist attack.

"During a firearms training session with individuals who voluntarily expressed a desire to participate in the special military operation [against Ukraine], the terrorists opened fire with small arms on the personnel of the unit," the ministry said in a statement quoted by state-run news agencies.

"As a result of the shooting, 11 people were fatally wounded. Another 15 people with wounds of varying severity were taken to a medical facility," it said.

Ministry accuses foreigners

According to Russian Defense Ministry, the two soldiers from an unnamed ex-Soviet nation were said to have fired on other soldiers during a drill, before they themselves were shot and killed. 

"On October 15, two citizens of a CIS country committed an act of terror at training range of the Western military district in the Belgorod region," the Defense Ministry was quoted as saying.

The CIS, or Commonwealth of Independent States, is a regional intergovernmental organization which was formed in 1991 between republics that were part of the Soviet Union. It currently has 9 members: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

More than 200,000 people have been conscripted into the Russian armed forces since the announcement of partial mobilization on September 21, according to President Vladimir Putin.

The draft announcement sparked protests and several attacks on recruitment offices.

dh/msh (Reuters, AFP)