According to the Ukrainian intelligence, in Donbas, about 450 snipers fight as part of illicit armed formations and some of them are citizens of Russia as Radio Liberty reported citing Representative of Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine Vadym Skibitsky.
The regular snipers appeared at the First and the Second Army Corps of the grouping of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics backed by Russia in 2016. They are trained by instructors from Russia.
“According to our information, currently, the staff size of such detachments makes about 450 military snipers. Moreover, the sniper groups of the Armed Forces of Russia, FSB, and other forces actively enter the territory of Ukraine. It is about 50 persons who constantly stay in our territory to develop the most important tasks and increase their combat experience with sniper armament in modern conflicts,” Skibitsky noted.
According to him, the Russian sniper detachments in Donbas or snipers of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics use the most advanced full-bore rifles of 2010-2012 years of production such as Lobaev sniper rifle or foreign far-ranging pieces that can fire at the distance of 2,500 meters and further. They test weapons in combat terms.
Meanwhile, the militants of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics are armed with Dragunov sniper rifle.
According to the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, in 2015, the militants actively trained in Rostov Oblast or Krasnodar Krai of Russia; particularly, Molkino firing range. In 2016, the training of snipers was held in the territory of occupied Donbas.
According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, last year, the snipers in Donbas killed 11 Ukrainian military men; eight persons were wounded. In January 2021, three soldiers were killed by snipers and one person was killed in February.
As we reported, a Ukrainian serviceman was killed by an enemy sniper's bullet in the area of Zaitseve in Donbas. According to the HQ, the soldier received a gunshot wound. He was immediately provided with first aid, but, unfortunately, the serviceman died from injuries during the evacuation to the hospital.