Russian air defense fired at its own paratroopers undergoing training at the Kuzminsky military training range in the Rostov region, killing two soldiers.

According to NEXTA, the incident took place when a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun operator mistook the exercises for a real landing of Ukrainian paratroopers and began firing on his own troops.

Similar incidents are not unheard of, as Oleksandr Shtupun, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Tavria operational-strategic group, commented earlier on national television that fear has prompted Russian troops to “shoot at everything that moves.”

“There have been more friendly fire incidents lately, involving both infantry and drones,” he said.

However, as the Rostov region serves as the rear staging area for Russia’s invasion, the incident could mean that fear and low morale have spread beyond the frontline and into Russian bases.

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Poor coordination was also likely to blame for the friendly fire incidents, with one Russian soldier casually discussing in November how poor coordination between units led to Russian artillery firing on their own positions.

In another alleged friendly fire incident, Ukrainian drone footage shared on social media showed artilleries raining down on Russian infantries, with the narrator commenting that Ukrainians “have long been gone” from the area and Russian troops “bombed their own positions fiercely.”

Russian, US Defense Chiefs Discussed Lowering Escalation in Call
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Russian, US Defense Chiefs Discussed Lowering Escalation in Call

Russia’s Defense Minister called the US Secretary of Defense to “lower risks of returning to a Cold War,” while the Pentagon says sporadic calls are important to “maintaining lines of communication.”

In September, 27 Russian soldiers were killed and 34 more were wounded by their own artillery during a chaotic retreat from the village of Opytne, close to Donetsk’s Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in eastern Ukraine after Russian troops mistook them for Ukrainians.

In December, Russian forces downed its own Su-25 jet in an alleged friendly fire incident.

Today, a Russian jet accidentally bombed occupied Rubizhne in the Luhansk region with an FAB-250 bomb in what it described as an “unscheduled landing of FAB-250 aviation munitions.”

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In April 2023, a similar incident took place when a Russian Su-34 jet accidentally dropped a bomb in Belgorod, creating a crater in the city center.

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