THIS is the moment Russia lost a dozen elite marines when they cooked food on an open fire and triggered an explosion from nearby live ammunition.
Eight more were wounded in the incident that Vladimir Putin’s regime has sought to cover-up.
A video of the blast shows a huge explosion followed by a earsplitting boom before smoke plumes into the sky.
Reports say a RPG-7 grenade launchercaught fire and exploded at Kuzminsky military training ground in Rostov region, bordering Ukraine.
Eight of the marines from 155th Separate Guards Marine Brigade, based in Vladivostok, were killed on the spot.
Four more died in hospital, said the News 166 outlet in Rostov, which said the humiliating tragedy had been confirmed by three independent sources.
A major criminal case has been launched into a suspected breach of safety regulations.
The commander of the Pacific Fleet Admiral Viktor Liina, 55, Pacific fleet commander, has visited the training base to read the riot act over the blunder, it was reported.
The troops were believed to be due for deployment to Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.
The dead and wounded from the lunchtime cookout have not been named.
The Russian defence ministry has not commented on the fiasco.
A serviceman who witnessed the horror revealed details but it has taken since it occurred on 3 November to verify the details.
This is not the only embarrassing blunder to be made by Russian soldiers.
In April we told how dozens of troops suffered from radiation sickness after they reportedly went finishing near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ukrainians living in the area shared how they tried to warn Vladimir Putin’s soldiers against camping in a forest near the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.
And another mishap occurred when a “drunk” Russian soldier rolled a £400million missile defence system into a roadside ditch.
The high-tech S-400 anti-aircraft rocket launcher veered off a highway while driving in convoy with other army vehicles in the Tula region of Russia.