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Massive hovercraft lands on crowded Russian beach

Military claims landing was part of tactical exercises on government beach that should have been off-limits; no injuries were reported

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Beachgoers typically are concerned about sharks, rip currents, and the harmful effects of the sun.

But on a crowded beach in Russia this week, sunbathers had other worries when a colossal military hovercraft was piloted onto the shore and, contrary to what one person commented after watching the footage, the 550-ton vessel was not Vladimir Putin’s Jet Ski.

The surprise landing occurred on a beach in the city of Mechnikovo, according to theĀ Irish Times.

The government claims it was nothing out of the ordinary: that it was merely participating in maneuvers on a government-owned beach.

The description beneath the video states that a spokesman from the Defense Ministry told the local newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, that the beach should have been off-limits to the public.

“Docking at the beach … is a normal event,” the spokesman said. “What people were doing at the beach on the territory of a military (base) is unclear.”

The Zubr-class hovercraft carries sophisticated weapons systems and can carry tanks and as many as 400 troops.

The story about the bizarre beach landing was circulating on the Internet on Wednesday, allowing some to poke fun at Russia for its bullying tactics against its own people.

Wrote Gizmodo: “So if this beach in Mechnikovo is, in fact, off-limits, it seems a lot of people have somehow been grossly misinformed for at least long enough to allow hundreds if not thousands of citizens to flock to its giant-hovercraft-lined shores.”

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