“Our snipers cause the same panic among the Russians as the HIMARS or tanks”, says Yuri Chornomorets to “La Razón”. Trained as a sniper by his grandfather in his youth, the 49-year-old theologian and doctor of philosophy took part in the defense of Kiev during the first months of the invasion.
after implementation dangerous missions behind the front, including the Chernobyl zone, his health deteriorated. Since then he has focused on equipping hundreds of Ukrainian snipers. He raises funds on social media and keeps in touch with several snipers at different locations on the front lines. “His role is often overlooked. “Russian losses from snipers exceed artillery losses, as every second shot hits the target normally,” he points out.
Explain what Snipers typically operate in groups, often accompanied by other soldiers. For military groups, which include snipers, the casualty rate is four to five times lower than the others. They help stop the enemy’s advance and play a crucial role in the ongoing counter-offensive.
Recent communications from the Ukrainian army highlighted the importance of snipers in preventing the Russian advance towards Kupyansk in the north of the Kharkiv region. “The sniper groups, 6 to 10 each, were also there extremely competent in Bachmut. The Russians called the place where our snipers acted and destroyed the Russian infantry “the road of death,” Chornomorets says.
In Zaporizhia, as in previous counteroffensives, snipers contribute by eliminating positions of Russian machine gunners. These positions are usually well protected by armor. Some only become visible during an assault where Ukrainian infantry suffer from their fire. Artillery is often not accurate enough and can’t take them out, so it’s the job of the snipers to do it.
Aside from that, One of the crucial skills of a sniper is the ability to act like a scout. Sometimes your mission ends without firing a shot. Instead, snipers provide coordinates for the Ukrainian artillery attack on a valuable target or inform the infantry of possible attack opportunities.
In the south, snipers are therefore often invaluable when it comes to guiding Ukrainian soldiers through Russian minefields. When the Russians try to counterattack, snipers and machine gunners will help repel them, not skimping on ammo.
“The Russians are afraid to raise their heads when they know there are snipers in the area.”explains Chornomorets.
In addition to using ordinary bullets to knock out enemy troops, armor-piercing ammunition is also used to knock out armored machine gun positions and armored vehicles, and even to deter Russian K-52 helicopters.
“Some units already have a tradition of snipers killing people hidden in Russian armored vehicles. As soon as the interior is cleaned, the vehicles can be used immediately. It’s much more effective than destroying them with artillery or anti-tank missiles.”says Chornomorets.
Snipers are also operating intensively along the Dnieper, inflicting heavy casualties on the Russians on the other side of the river.
“Even though we don’t hear about Ukrainian advances every day, the main purpose of this counteroffensive is to weaken Russian forces. Their losses are enormous and our snipers contribute a lot to them,” emphasizes Chornomorets.
A variety of guns available It allows snipers to operate at distances from hundreds of meters to more than 2 kilometers from the enemy. The best of them can kill unsuspecting Russian officers from around 2,800 yards away.
“We try to ensure that each sniper squad has a mix of different guns and other tools and can handle a variety of tasks of all kinds,” explains Chornomorets.
Only the most skillful marksmen, who are very patient and careful, can become good snipers. “You have to control your emotions, your breathing and even your heartbeat.”
Chernomorets marvels at their character and courage, comparing them to samurai. “They are modern gentlemen, really the elite of the Ukrainian army. Your selflessness and caring help save hundreds of our soldiers.”
In addition to providing various rifles and scopes, the volunteer helps outfit all snipers with ponchos that use thermal imaging cameras to make them invisible to the enemy.
He points out that the Russian state invests heavily in its snipers. It highlights the Russian National Guard, which includes many experienced soldiers. The sanctions make it more difficult, but Russia seems to have a stock of high-quality foreign-made rifles in addition to its own weapons, some of which are quite good.
However, when it comes to duels between experienced snipers, the Ukrainians usually win, he says. “In one instance, our sniper had to remain motionless for 18 hours to avoid detection before his opponent finally moved and was eliminated,” he recalls.
However, such duels are relatively rare. Once a sniper is spotted, tanks and artillery are typically used to kill them. Snipers are a valuable target, says Chornomorets, recalling a case in which a Ukrainian sniper had to endure four rounds of Russian Grads. He got out alive.
Training a sniper usually takes a long time. Impatience costs lives. During the war, less experienced snipers join teams where their more experienced counterparts, some with experience in Ukrainian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, can help them hone their skills in combat operations.
Of the 330 Ukrainian snipers, men and women, assisted by Chornomorets, seven have died and seven have been disabled by wounds. “That’s a much better survival rate than in other military specialties,” says the theologian and sniper.
“We would prefer not to have to fight. But Putin is the new Hitler. There is no other way for our nation than to protect itself with arms,” he emphasizes.