The “Ghosts of Bakhmut” make life hell for Russian soldiers

“When we started bringing terror to Bakhmut, we got the name ‘the spirits of Bakhmut’,” explains the leader of a Ukrainian special unit – consisting of snipers. His alias is appropriately “Ghost”. Around 20 men are under his command. Your task: take out high-ranking targets. A team from the British TV channel “BBC‘ accompanied ‘Ghost’ and his men.

Elite sniper unit responsible for the deaths of 524 Russian soldiers

“Ghost” and his unit are based on the outskirts of the heavily contested city of Bakhmut – “on the edge of existence”, as the commander puts it. They are constantly within range of the Russian artillery, and their missions are correspondingly dangerous. “Ghost” doesn’t care much. He hardly seems to notice the impact of the grenades.

The sniper unit has already deployed on numerous missions – with deadly success. “There is a confirmed number – 524. Seventy-six of them are mine,” replies “Ghost” when asked by the “BBC” reporter how many Russians the men killed.

Every shot is said to have been recorded by the shooters’ scopes. According to the commander, the Ukrainian unit was injured but not yet dead.

The soldiers are not proud of the dead. “It’s not something to be proud of. We don’t kill people, we destroy the enemy,” explains one of the men from the unit, alias Kuzia. The man is aware of the danger of the missions. “Every mission is dangerous, if we make a mistake, the enemy can hit us,” he says. “Of course I’m scared – only a fool wouldn’t be.”

BBC team witnesses the operation at first hand

Some time later, three of the men from “Ghost’s” unit set off on a mission – a driver, a so-called spotter, and a gunner. The “BBC” team will also be there. On the way, the armored car is repeatedly fired upon by Russian artillery, but arrives at the scene of the accident unscathed.

The sniper and his spotter jump out of the vehicle, and the Humvee roars away. However, the return trip is less smooth. A tire is blown apart by shrapnel and the time it takes to arrive at the base becomes a nerve-wracking test of patience, reports the BBC reporter. But the team arrives safely at the base.

A few hours later, the driver moves out again to pick up the two soldiers at the meeting point. Despite the darkness, the journey is no less dangerous than on the way there. In order not to attract attention, the driver must drive with their lights off and based on their own memories.

Some time later, the team still reaches the base unharmed, to the noticeable relief of all comrades. Mission accomplished, taking out a Russian soldier on a machine gun. For the men it is now time to wait for the next assignment.

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