MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti)
No matter how exotic was the purpose of the drill, three Russian military officers managed to resort to the common crime of theft when arranging it.
Three Russian military officers stole seven tons of diesel fuel intended for a tank biathlon, an exercise in relay races across rough terrain and involving precision firing, military prosecutors said Wednesday.
The world’s first tank biathlon was held in mid-August at the Alabino firing range as a four-day competition of the best crews from Russia’s four military districts. They raced across 18,300 meters (12 miles) of rough terrain, had to cross various obstacles while firing their main guns and machine guns at targets at distances between 900 and 2,200 meters, incurring 500-meter-long penalty laps for misses.
The fuel theft took place about a month before the competition, the chief military department of Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement, adding that the officers – identified only by their last names as Obyedkov, Belan and Belyayev – acted independently of one another and stole the fuel from a heavy artillery tractor.
The statement did not specify the charges the officers are facing.
In 2014, US, German and Italian teams are expected to compete with Russians in a tank biathlon, the Defense Ministry said. Hopefully, they won’t stall because of a fuel shortage.