Russian soldier accidentally detonates grenade, killing 3 and injuring 16 – Business Insider

Russian soldier accidentally detonates grenade, killing 3 and injuring 16 – Business Insider

  • A Russian soldier accidentally detonated a hand grenade in Belgorod on Sunday evening.
  • Three soldiers died, 16 were injured and another eight are missing, Russian state media reported.
  • The grenade was detonated by a senior sergeant serving as a platoon commander, 112 reported.

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Three Russian soldiers were killed and 16 others injured when a sergeant accidentally detonated a hand grenade in a dormitory in the Belgorod region of Russia on Sunday night, Russian media reported.

The grenade exploded in the community center of the village of Tonenkoye, where ammunition was stored and Russian soldiers were housed, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

The blast also started a fire and forced 15 people to evacuate from nearby homes, TASS reported.

“The main cause of the explosion is careless handling of ammunition,” an emergency services source told TASS.

Eight other soldiers are missing after the blast and the search for them is ongoing, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing local emergency services.

The grenade was detonated at a weapons storage facility by a senior sergeant serving as a platoon commander, according to channel 112 Telegram, which is closely linked to Russian security services.

The resulting explosion caused a fire that covered around 4,843 square feet, the Telegram channel wrote.

The station also reported that the explosion was caused by an RGD-5 grenade, an anti-personnel hand grenade developed in the early 1950s.

Belgorod is located on the border between Russia and north-eastern Ukraine, about 74 kilometers from the city of Kharkiv.

The border region has been plagued by multiple munitions-related incidents and explosions since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Russian news agencies reported several times in 2022 that ammunition and fuel depots in Belgorod were hit by explosions. Local officials and state media blamed the blasts on Ukrainian shelling and rocket attacks, although Kyiv has not claimed responsibility.

In another incident, 11 Russian soldiers were shot dead and 15 others injured during a firearms training session in Belgorod, the RIA news agency reported in October. The shooters had volunteered to take part in the war in Ukraine and were killed at the scene, RIA reported. The shooters were from an unspecified former Soviet republic, Portal reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

Russia has become increasingly reliant on conscripts as its war progresses, after a largely unpopular mobilization of 300,000 reservists in October.

Ukrainian military intelligence has claimed Moscow plans to mobilize an additional 500,000 troops. Russian officials have neither confirmed nor denied such reports.

Russia’s Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Situations did not immediately respond to insiders’ requests for comment.