We are all familiar with the use of snipers in warfare. With the increase in weapon quality and target range, snipers and their rifles now play a prominent role in most armies around the world. This is also true of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with both Ukrainian and Russia’s occupation forces using them.
This use has steadily increased due to the static nature of the fighting. With a 457km front line, mostly unchanged for several years, each side knows where the other sides positions and checkpoints are located, thereby making it easier for snipers to find targets.
Now, it’s bad enough thinking a sniper might blow your head off, but in Ukraine, there’s the added fear Russia’s snipers may blind you.
Russia’s laser blinding weapon. Seen here linked to a sniper rifle.
2012 Russia showcased a new Anti-Sniper device. It can locate optical devices such as binoculars and sniper scopes from 2.5km away. The system has been developed to operate with one of Russia’s latest sniper rifles the T-5000. Designed to burn the retina of the eye, once an optical target is located, a colored laser beam is emitted.
Russian state media – Ria Novosti video report on laser weapon and its use with the T-5000 sniper rifle.
Russia’s Forces in Ukraine.
We know Russia’s snipers in Ukraine have the T-5000. Notorious Serbian mercenary sniper Deyan (Dejan) Berich has posted pictures of himself using and displaying his T-500 rifle.
We also know Russia’s forces are using laser beams.
Oct 4th, 2018 – the OSCE reported – “Positioned at the forward position of the Ukrainian Armed Forces about 300m north of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, for about ten minutes, the Mission saw a blue light flashing every few seconds about 800m south. A member of the armed formations in Luhansk city told the Mission that the armed formations used laser equipment.”
The Stanytsia Luhansk bridge is the only civilian front-line crossing point in the whole of the Luhansk Oblast (province). Every day it’s used by hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, many of them elderly. The OSCE call Russia’s forces “armed formations.”
Ukrainian Soldiers injured by lasers.
From July 2016, the Ukrainian army has reported at least five incidents of soldiers having sustained eyes injuries by laser beams. The latest attack occurred on Oct 1st, 2018. As you can imagine, a good deal of the daily work of Ukrainian soldiers is spent observing Russia’s forces along the front-line.
Oct 1st Report by the State Border Guard.
“Yesterday, a soldier at the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine received a military injury from laser weapons at the Marinka. …watching using an optical device, the soldier saw a bright flash of yellow color from the enemy’s fortification and felt a sharp pain in his eyes.
The serviceman was immediately taken to a military hospital… It is now known that the serviceman has lost 80% of his right eye vision. This is the fifth case of Russian mercenaries using forbidden laser weapons… During 2016-2018, four other servicemen of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine have received similar injuries of varying degrees of gravity.” Link to State Border Guard website.
For more info on the laser attacks and links to other reporting of their use, please visit – Human Rights in Ukraine website.