Monday, March 21, 2016

Ukraine's new sniper rifles: Deadly weapons to fight Russia's war in Donbas

March 21, 2016 These National Guard troops are on a firing range, testing new sniper rifles. These weapons are advanced compared to equipment currently used by the military in eastern Ukraine. For example, the rifles have advanced scopes with an option of a thermal or laser telescopic sight – ideal for round the clock operations. Perhaps most importantly though – the majority come with the label ‘Made in Ukraine' – something the military leadership hope to see more of in the future.
Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council Secretary: "We have set targets for our (weapons) producers to be a world class example and step-by-step, gradually abandon Soviet weapons and move towards Ukrainian-made ones." The new weapons have a firing range of up to 1,200 meters, weight around 4.5kg and use 7.62 caliber cartridges. Oleksandr Turchynov announced the establishment of a new ammunition production plant. The only one Ukraine had in Luhansk region is now within the territory controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces. 
Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council Secretary: "In the near future a scientific research laboratory will be set up in the sniper training center that will explore and produce special ammunition for sniper weapons to help hit the enemy at long distances." Snipers have played a major role since the war in Donbas broke out in April 2014. But even still, Ukrainian soldiers at the front complain of a shortage of advanced gear and training. The lack of these elements prove a distinct disadvantage on the battlefield, against better-armed Russian-backed separatist forces. 
Yuriy Alerov, Ukrainian National Guard Commander: "Most of the casualties we receive today come from injuries or deaths from enemy artillery and snipers. We have great experience with our anti-sniper work." After the trial of these rifles, its hoped production of the weapons in Ukraine will be expanded - so more snipers can keep the enemy in their crosshairs and the rest of the country safe.