The Ghosts of Bakhmut: Elite squad of Ukrainian snipers reveal how they have notched up 524 Russian ‘kills’ during night raids
- Sniper unit leader has personally taken out 76 enemy troops in last six months
- READ MORE: Zelensky warns that ‘war is returning to Russia’ after drone attack
A Ukrainian sniper team dubbed The Ghosts of Bakhmut has killed 524 Russian soldiers in the past six months.
The leader of the 20-strong unit, whose secret call-sign is Ghost, has personally accounted for 76 enemy troops in that period.
The team uses the same rifle as Britain’s Special Forces and some of the Ghosts were trained by the UK’s best snipers. The team’s youngest member is known as ‘Brit’ for that reason.
All their kills are verified using video footage recorded by their night-scopes. The snipers also operate in silence, so their high-value targets have no chance to take cover.
The shocking figures emerged in a BBC report yesterday.
The leader of the 20-strong unit, whose secret call-sign is Ghost, has personally accounted for 76 enemy troops in that period
Kuzia, who was a factory worker before the war, said: ‘I can’t tell you, it is not right. It is nothing to be proud of’
The totals attributed to the Ghosts, in particular their commander, bear comparison to some of most prolific snipers of all time.
Over four tours of Iraq, US Navy Seal Chris Kyle was credited with more than 160 kills. In Vietnam, a US airborne sniper Adelbert Waldron achieved 109 in eight months.
In the Second World War, a Finnish sniper codenamed White Death allegedly achieved more than 500 kills in 100 days against the Soviet Red Army.
Speaking to the BBC, Ghost said: ‘We have had good results in this sector and brought terror [to the Russians] in Bakhmut. You can hide from artillery but not from snipers.
‘They [the Russians] came here to our land. We are liberating that land. My rifle has never let me down, it never fails.
‘Every trip [mission] may be our last. But we are doing a noble deed.’
The Ghosts operate at night and usually approach their targets on foot to make less noise.
The sniper and his spotter must often wait for several hours for a target to appear in their night-vision sights. Their missions require breathtaking courage as Russian artillery shells often explode near where they position themselves.
But if they move, they risk being seen or encountering nearby minefields. The two-man teams then withdraw the following morning and are driven back to their secret base.
The camp is within range of Russian artillery and the roads nearby are littered with the wreckages of bombed-out vehicles.
Aerial view shows destroyed buildings as a result of intense fighting, amid the Russian invasion, in Bakhmut, Ukraine
Not all the Ghosts are so comfortable sharing their kill tallies with others. Another of the team, Kuzia, who was a factory worker before the war, said: ‘I can’t tell you, it is not right. It is nothing to be proud of.
When I was a civilian I didn’t like weapons. But now I’ve had to take up arms to defend my country,’ he said. ‘Of course I’m scared, only a fool wouldn’t be.’
Ukrainian forces have made significant territorial gains around Bakhmut in recent months and the Ghosts, armed with US-made Barrett sniper rifles, have played a key role.
But the city itself, which is of symbolic rather than strategic value to both parties, has been reduced almost entirely to rubble. So much so that Ghost calls the frontline running through Bakhmut ‘the edge of existence’.
It comes after Russia fired a barrage of missiles at Volodymyr Zelensky’s home town of Kryvyi Rih yesterday, the day after the Ukrainian president warned attacks against Russia were ‘inevitable’.
A young girl was among at least five to be killed in the town. On Sunday, Mr Zelensky said attacks on Russian soil were a ‘natural and absolutely fair process’ in the war.
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