Military issues mushroom alert

Take note – story published 6 years ago

While international attention is focused on the threat posed by the ZAPAD 2017 military exercises being conducted by by Russia and Belarus along the borders of the Baltic states, Latvia's armed forces on September 9 identified a more imminent, clear and present danger to national security: mushroom pickers.

As LSM recently explained, the attraction of the mushroom is powerful at this time of the year, sometimes luring Latvians, siren-like, into deadly situations.

And no situation could be more deadly than the middle of a live-fire exercise on the shooting ranges at Adazi base just outside Riga.

Unfortunately the pristine forest is ideal for fungal growth, and not just in the boots of soldiers running through combat drills there. Mushroom pickers have been known to evade perimeter security measures on the vast range in search of hidden treasure, risking life, limb and the effectiveness of the military exercise itself if it has to be suspended due to mushroomers popping up in the middle of the combat zone.

In a series of tweets, the armed forces politely suggest that mushroomers would be better off choosing "safer places", preferably places without the danger of high explosives and 7.62 mm ammunition flying about.


So if you go mushrooming, remember the tell-tale signs of a safe picking location:

1) Are there signs saying "NO ENTRY! MILITARY ZONE! DANGER TO LIFE!"
2) Are there explosions happening?

3) Is there the sound of gunfire?
4) Are there lots of people  speaking foreign languages, in uniform and/or tanks? 

If you can answer "Yes" to any one of these questions, you should probably be mushrooming somewhere else. And if you can answer "Yes" to all of them, you may possibly have also wandered across the border into Russia and are actually part of the ZAPAD exercises.


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