Russian aerial exercises prompt emergency alerts in eastern Finland

Residents of eastern Finland made a number of calls to rescue services Wednesday evening over what they thought were emergency flares. The reports came in from Imatra, Joensuu, Kuopio, Ilomantsi, Rantasalmi and Puumala. Most of the callers believed that the flares were fired to alert authorities to a marine accident. However checks of bodies of water by local rescue services revealed no accidents.

Officials from the southern Savo rescue services unit said that aerial shots were fired by aircraft during Russian military drills near the eastern border, adding that the discharges left a yellow light that observers may have mistaken for emergency flares.