Death toll in shooting at Russian military base  rises to 22

Death toll in shooting at Russian military base rises to 22

October 16, 2022

Death toll in ‘terrorist’ shooting at Russian military base near Ukraine border rises to 22, reports claim: Two gunmen ‘from Tajikistan’ opened fire ‘in row over religion’ as local governor says no civilians were killed in massacre

  • Initial reports suggested that 11 soldiers had been killed and a further 15 injured
  • But it has now been suggested that double this number were actually shot dead 
  • One shooter was firing at target before suddenly turned machine gun on crowd 
  • Second gunman used another weapon, before they were shot dead by sniper 
  • Local news outlet SOTA also reports that a third assailant is now ‘on the run’ 

The death toll following a shooting at a Russian military base on the Ukraine border has risen to 22 after two gunmen from Tajikstan opened fire at fellow recruits reportedly in a row over religion.

Initial reports announced that 11 soldiers had been killed and a further 15 injured on a training ground in the Belgorod region on the Ukrainian border, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed yesterday.

But it has now been suggested that double this number were shot dead, with independent news outlet SOTA suggesting that 22 soldiers have died and 16 were wounded.

There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in the figures after the mass shootings.

The defence ministry, which only revealed the shooting some 12 hours after the incident, said two volunteer soldiers fired at fellow troops before they themselves were shot dead by a sniper.

The incident took place during target practice, with one shooter firing at a target before he suddenly turned his machine gun on a crowd of forces watching.

A second shooter used another weapon to fire at the men, before a ‘sniper’ then shot dead the gunmen, said reports. They were both nationals from an unspecified former Soviet republic, it is understood.

SOTA is also reporting that a third assailant is currently ‘on the run’ following the incident.

Ukrainian official Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said a dispute over religion preceded the shooting. 

The attack is said to have occurred in the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine

The ministry has labelled the incident a terrorist attack. Pictured: Putin speaking at a Summit of leaders on Friday 

Russian citizens drafted during the partial mobilization are seen being dispatched to combat

 The gunmen were reported to be from ex-Soviet state Tajikistan and were among mobilised ‘reservists’ at an army base in Belgorod region which borders Ukraine. 

Tajikistan is a predominantly Muslim nation, while around half of Russians follow various branches of Christianity.

Governor of Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov today said: ‘A terrible event happened on our territory, on the territory of one of the military units.

‘Many soldiers were killed and wounded. There are no residents of the Belgorod region among the wounded and killed.

The Russian defence ministry ministry has labelled the incident a terrorist attack. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the incident.

An eyewitness said: ‘They just went out and started [to shoot].’

The killings were at a training ground as the soldiers were about to undergo target practice ahead of postings to the frontline.

The military ‘volunteers’ were mainly from Bryansk region, but at least one was from Moscow region, said SOTA.

The bloodbath was at a military unit near the village of Soloti, where a military camp was built in 2017 along with a training ground for the 752nd motorised rifle regiment of the 3rd motorised rifle division of the Western Military District.

It comes after a recent mutiny at the same base when 100 mobilised servicemen reportedly refused to be moved to the epicentre of intense fighting at Lyman.

An official source said: ‘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.’

Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky said yesterday that Ukrainian troops arere still holding the strategic eastern town of Bakhmut despite repeated Russian attacks – as the situation in the larger Donbas region remains very difficult.

A view shows the city administration building hit by recent shelling in the Donetsk region of Ukraine today

Luba, an 80-year-old Ukraine resident, reacts during shelling in the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region yesterday

Russian forces have repeatedly tried to seize Bakhmut, which sits on a main road leading to the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Both are situated in the Donetsk region.

In the past 24 hours, Russian forces targeted more than 30 towns and villages across Ukraine, launching five missile and 23 air strikes and up to 60 rocket attacks, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said today.

In response, Ukraine’s air forces have carried out 32 strikes, hitting 24 Russian targets.

Fighting is particularly intense in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the strategically important Kherson province in the south, three of the four regions Putin ‘annexed’ in sham referendums.

The positions of southern forces were attacked several times yesterday and a small ‘shooting battle’ took place near the village of Tryfonivka, Kherson, Ukraine’s Armed Forces southern command said.

It comes as Putin is seeking to reverse his fortunes in the war by mobilising some 300,000 recruits – a move that triggered protests and caused hundreds of thousands to flee Russia.

Putin said on Friday that more than 220,000 reservists already had been called up as part of an effort to recruit 300,000.

Even though the Russian leader declared that only people who had recently served in the military will be subject to the call-up, activists and rights groups reported military conscription offices rounding up people without any army experience – some of whom were also unfit for service for medical reasons. 

Some of the freshly called-up reservists posted videos of them being forced to sleep on the floor or even outside and given rusty weapons before being sent to the front lines.

Authorities have acknowledged that the mobilisation was often poorly organised and promised to improve the situation.

A burnt car is seen near an administrative building after shelling in Donetsk, the capital of Donetsk People’s Republic, on Sunday

Investigators inspect a site after shelling near an administrative building, where six 155mm munitions were fired

Putin said earlier this week recent military mobilisation he ordered is coming to an end, and he has no plans for further conscriptions once it has finished. 

But it was revealed earlier this week Iranian troops have quietly joined the Ukrainian frontline to help train Moscow’s forces in how to operate kamikaze drones.

Up to 50 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) specialists have been sent to the southern and eastern front with hundreds of Shahed-136 drones, according to the Mirror.

A strike using the Iranian-made ‘suicide drones’ hit near Makrariv, a small city located 31 miles west of Kyiv, on Thursday, destroying critical infrastructure.

Despite denials from the Iranian regime that their forces are getting involved in the conflict, IRGC troops have reportedly been based in Dzankoi in Crimea and Kherson in the south, where one team has already been destroyed.

A Ukrainian source told the newspaper: ‘At least one of the Iranian training teams has been hit recently and they are actively being hunted down.

‘We have been concerned for some time that IRGC specialists are helping Russia in their terrible attacks on civilians and they are of course being targeted.’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia earlier this week of using Iranian-made Shahed-136 UAVs – also known as suicide drones – against military and civilian targets.

Tehran has denied selling the drones to Russia, but there is mounting evidence that Moscow is deploying the weapon.

Between September 30 and October 6 alone, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said it had destroyed 24 of the weapons, which are designed to be flown directly into targets – overwhelming and evading air defences along the way.

With a range of more than 600 miles, the explosive-laden drones can ‘loiter’ above potential targets for hours before being slammed directly into enemy soldiers, vehicles or buildings from above – causing an explosion.

Russia has intensified its bombardment of civilian areas in recent weeks as its military lost ground in multiple occupied regions of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin has illegally annexed.

Kyiv said 83 missiles or drones were launched against the country on Monday morning, striking the capital and several other cities, killing civilians in the process.

‘They want panic and chaos. They want to destroy our energy system,’ Zelensky said in a video address on Telegram. He added: Russia is ‘trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth.’

There are mounting concerns about Putin’s willingness to start nuclear war.

The Russian leader has increased the number of strategic nuclear bombers stationed at an airbase near the Finnish and Norwegian borders, satellite images show. 

Putin warned of ‘global catastrophe’ if Nato troops clash directly with Russia, despite having now heightened that risk himself. 

The coming weeks will see a number of Russian nuclear drills, predicted to include the test-firing of ballistic missiles, at the same time as Nato tests its preparedness to respond to such attacks. 

Western officials said Russia was ‘rapidly exhausting’ its supply of missiles and because of sanctions was unable to import the parts required to manufacture replacements. 

One added: ‘For these reasons Russia cannot sustain the aerial campaign indefinitely.’ 

Source: Read Full Article