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Published in Stream:
Day 1116: March 9, 2017
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukrainian Soldier Shoots Sniper Near Industrial Zone Who Turns Out To Be Russian Citizen
5 years
Ukraine Submits to World Court Allegations that Russian Citizen Organized Attack on Volnovakha in January 2015

A Ukrainian soldier with the call-sign "Zver," shown here kissing his rifle, is quoted as saying "Thanks my little toy, that you didn't let me down."

Readers of our daily battle reports know that fighting has been fierce in particular in and around the industrial zone ("promzona") near Avdeyevka (Avdiivka). Practically every day, there are descriptions also of snipers active along the towns of the front line, often causing the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers. reports that on the evening of March 9,  the tables turned when a young Ukrainian contract soldier shot to death a sniper near the Avdeyevka industrial zone who turned out to be a Russian citizen, and an officer of Russian military intelligence, according to a post from the 72nd Guard Separate Mechanized Brigade on Facebook.

The Ukrainian soldier, whose call sign is "Zver'" [Beast], age 19, said he shot the sniper, who was only a few dozen meters away from other Russia-backed militants at the line of contact, then dragged his body away for a search. He discovered that the man, age 33, whose name was not given, had a Russian Federation passport, a military card from the self-declared "Donetsk People's Republic" and sniper's flash cards.

"Coal miners don't make cards like that," another Ukrainian soldier, whose call sign was "Khan" was quoted as saying in the 72nd Guard's post.

"As much as we've been fighting, we don't draw cards so perfectly as those firing cards were drawn," he added.

He said the battles in the industrial zone were not subsiding at all. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin once declared that there were no Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, that there were only local separatist "coal-miners and truck-drivers". 

Earlier Ukrainian journalist Andrei Taplienko told the story somewhat differently, noting that the Russian sniper had not lived after he was shot, although Ukrainian soldiers had taken him to a "no-man's land" and tried to give him first aid.  He expressed regret at his death, saying "witnesses are needed in the Hague."

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick