Sniper war in Chechnya – review.

During the first armed clashes in Chechnya in the winter 1994 – 1995’s revealed the almost complete lack of preparedness of Russian troops to sniper war. During the fighting in Chechnya in 1995 – 1996 years more than 26 percent of wounded soldiers of the federal troops were bullet wounds. According to some eyewitnesses, the battle for Grozny in the 8 th Army Corps at the beginning of January 1995 by sniper fire had destroyed most of the officers in the link “Platoon – a company.”
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To defend the city in general and to the sniper war, in particular, the Chechen rebels were prepared in advance: be equipped and prepared positions, established contacts, coordinated action and tested tactic. Time to prepare for the militants were enough weapons also missing: the withdrawal from Chechnya, the army, among other weapons left the 533 sniper rifles SVD. Chechen snipers worked very competently, efficiently and brutally. Most often, the sniper pair served as the basis of mobile fire teams, except where snipers included two machine gunners, machine gun and rocket launcher.

Our infantry was absolutely not ready for war sniper in the city. The case when an infantry colonel sent an entire motorized rifle company to “catch” very annoyed sniper: “He is somewhere out there is sitting.”

But not everywhere forgotten combat experience of World War II. In the Special Forces Airborne Regiment in preparation for the trip to Chechnya, has created several sniper teams. Volgograd Corps General Rokhlin during fighting in central Grozny on the day lost from sniper fire to 30 people, and after it worked SWAT snipers airborne troops, the losses were reduced to two people per day. Already by early February, most of Dudayev snipers professionals were destroyed – this is testified primarily changed nature of the wounds of federal troops.

Nevertheless, experience of the first months of fighting has shown that our soldiers were forced to re-start from scratch and the price of his blood to learn to what they were supposed to teach before fights.

At the end of the first Chechen our military leadership has made a logical conclusion that the sniper war was lost. Nearly half a century, Russian forces had no special training units for snipers, so that was a lost experience of their tactical application. The troops there are no weapons that meets modern requirements, no equipment for troop sniper.

A clear demonstration of how much efficiency are professionally trained sniper shots, can serve as a military practice of the personnel of the Russian sniper training center “K-43. This training unit was established in September 1999. For acquisition of sniper school at its disposal from the county were sent to officers, the most prepared in the field of sniping. Selected soldiers were 6-month training and were crisp sniper instructor. The main objective of the training company – training of trainers for sniper school in the military districts, curriculum development and in-depth development of the tactical actions of single snipers and sniper teams in various kinds of combat operations.

In the study, and training company, soldiers, the last hard-qualification. “K-43 regularly sends its students to undergo military training in hot spots. According to media reports, under Bamut during counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya snipers killed about fifty rebels brought down eight units. During the storming of Grozny in the spring of 2000 this unit destroyed 51 fighter, put out of commission 20 units of equipment. Over the entire period of hostilities in the spring and summer of 2000, Russian arrows eliminated 28 Chechen snipers, thereby maintaining the lives of tens of soldiers.

In terms of tactics Chechen war has given a lot, now it’s important not to lose the paid blood battle experience. One of the specific features of the battles in the North Caucasus region is the massive use of snipers in a guerrilla war. During the fighting in Dagestan and Chechnya (1999-2000 gg.) Scale and effectiveness of their actions were such that the Russian military rightly spoke of a “sniper war.” Chechen arrows used not only staffing Russian-made weapons (SVD and SCD), but the machines are equipped with optics, as well as sporting rifles, modified for sniping.

Typical armament department fighters, consisting of 9-10 people, up 6 Kalashnikov automatic rifles of various modifications (7,62 mm AKM or AKMS), a manual or a single machine gun (7.62-mm RPK, 5.45-mm RPK-74 or 7,62-mm PKM), 1 RPG-7, 4-5 disposable grenade launchers (RPG-18 RPG-22 or RPG-26) and an SVD sniper rifle.

The main ways to combat illegal armed groups are shelling garrisons, outposts, checkpoints and outposts, conducting attacks (raids), the unit ambushes, sabotage and commit acts of terrorism, the seizure of important objects and hostages.

In carrying out attacks there is a group of between 10 to 50 people. Most often carried out attacks at night, using all types of weapons available, including the sniper.

Ambush, usually held on the roads or the likely routes of movement of federal troops to destroy personnel, capture prisoners, weapons and materiel; sniper team normally included in the fire team, ensuring the defeat of enemy troops and destroy equipment, and the group that prevents maneuver opponent.

During the fighting in the republic of Dagestan (August-September 1999) by Chechen fighters practiced capture commanding heights, the most profitable routes, passes, and the location where the long-range firepower, including the snipers. Often used small fire teams consisting of detachment, rocket launcher and sniper pair. Snipers fired at the same time under the guise of the sounds of mortar and grenade launcher firing from caves and other shelters. In the implementation of waste militants have used the combined firepower of the group cover – 1.2 mortars calculation, 2 the calculation of heavy machine guns, 2 snipers, 2 bomber, 1-2 calculating the AGS-17.

A little later, in the conduct of hostilities in the Chechen Republic (October 1999), illegal armed groups used the methods of guerrilla warfare. As well as during the first Chechen conflict, 1994 – 1996 years. Without coming into direct contact with federal forces, NWF chose to work in small groups of 3-5 people, which include rocket launcher, sniper, machine gunner, and 1-2 tommy. In this group, in many cases include engineers, mining the position after the departure of the group. The principle of their actions is very simple: the main group opens fire (sometimes not even impact) on the object of federal forces, under the guise of a sniper, battlefield noise selects targets and destroys them.

The militants did not expect more results, satisfied with short but frequent and successful firing of a lossless with his hand. Snipers were very frequently occupied positions in the trees. Not far from the shooter (in a circle or square of the forest) were placed observers who were autopsied goals and directs them to sniper fire.

Drew particular attention to the tactics of a so-called “battle of triples, consisting of a sniper, rocket launcher and submachine. This method of warfare was worked out by Chechen rebels even during the first assault on Grozny in the winter of 1995. Terrain such triple is dispersed. Submachine begins battle, raking the enemy and thus causing a fire on himself, reveals a sniper firing points, which marked a fire, and destroys them, rocket launcher, using the noise of battle as cover, striking armored vehicles and trucks.

In the defense area, just before the artillery barrage of the federal forces or air strikes, a group of militants made a quick dash to the side of Russian troops in the safe zone and were hiding in the countryside. After launching an attack federal troops gunmen shot the soldiers almost at point blank range – from a distance of 100-150 meters. In this case, the snipers sought in the first minutes of the battle to destroy the command structure and the most active soldiers and sergeants, to sow panic.

The most effective sniper team used by militants in fighting in the village. First of all, they incapacitate officers, drivers and radio operators. Each sniper operates under the guise of five or six militants, one of whom, at least, is the grenade launcher. Positions for shooting are usually chosen according to the classical principle – on the middle floor of buildings in the room. Widely used breaks in the walls of houses. Tommy occupy the lower floors, and grenade throwers are located on the upper level.

Very common among Chechen snipers reception when to kill as many people at first he “shoots” a soldier (usually shot in the limb), then in the same way immobilizes came to his aid his comrades, and finally finishing off all the methodical way.

And used snipers single. These people are usually, professionals, pre-planned in detail their actions, choosing the most advantageous inconspicuous position in attics and upper floors of the houses (usually in the corner apartment – convenient to carry out a fire in several directions). To prepared positions were equipped with weapons caches and ammunition.

As another characteristic feature of the war in Chechnya should be noted the use by militants of a special Russian-made sniper weapons – large-caliber rifles SALT-96 rifles and silent VSS and the VSK-94.

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