To identify the positions of enemy snipers, Ukrainian fighters use dummies and periscopes. One of these decoys was spotted in the trenches along the front line near Bakhmut.
The fighting that followed Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has not been without a return to the military practices of the past. Among other things, on the Ukrainian fronts, sniper baits in the form of dummies appeared in the trenches – a feature of the trench war of 1914-1918. How Ukrainian fighters confront enemy snipers is described in a publication dated March 13 by American military analyst Thomas Newdyk.
He writes that the sniper traps were spotted by photographer Wolfgang Schwan on March 10 somewhere along the front line south of the town of Bakhmut, where fierce fighting is still going on. The bait in question was used by soldiers of the Ukrainian 24th mechanized brigade. It is a life-size mannequin dressed in winter clothes and with a Soviet respirator, which is mounted on sandbags on the inner wall of the trench.
Ukrainian military conducts surveillance using a periscope
“While this may be the first sniper decoy we’ve seen since the start of the all-out invasion in February 2022, the concept is by no means new,” writes Newdyk.
Remarkably, the dummy in the trench south of Bakhmut is accompanied by a soldier with a periscope, suggesting that much the same tactics are used here as during the trench confrontations characteristic of the First World War.
Making papier-mâché sniper heads during World War I
Although the Ukrainian military also uses more advanced means of detecting enemy snipers, such as electro-optical surveillance devices and acoustic detectors for Boomerang snipers, which use sensors for muzzle blast and sonic shock from a high-velocity bullet.
Newdyk notes that these tools are probably not widely used, which is why Ukrainian fighters use mannequins and periscopes.
The author of the publication concludes that while positional fighting continues, the danger posed by snipers will lead to the emergence of innovative countermeasures to combat them.
“While this appears to be the first sniper decoy of its kind that we’ve already seen during Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, it likely won’t be the last. Trench warfare has become a familiar aspect of fighting, not only in the east around Bakhmut, but also in the south of the country,” the analyst sums up.
Recall, the press service of the SSO on March 1 reported that the Ukrainian soldiers of the Special Operations Forces liquidated seven occupiers. Three more were injured when they tried to stealthily sneak up on the positions of the Ukrainian defenders.
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