This footage shows Russian reservists preparing for a winter war in the country’s polar region as they practice taking out both single and group targets using sniper rifles.
Newsflash obtained the footage from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), along with a statement saying that military personnel called up from the reserve forces are carrying out day-and-night training in Russia’s Murmansk region.
The Russian MoD said: “Under the guidance of officers and experienced instructors day and night, motorized riflemen practice firing small arms, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and sniper rifles at targets that imitate enemy equipment and manpower.
In the footage, soldiers can be seen crawling across the freezing, snow-covered ground and firing with SVD snipers at targets as they train in the icy conditions.
The SVD is a semi-automatic marksman rifle with an 800-metre firing range that was first developed in the Soviet Union.
The Russian MoD said: “Special attention is paid to restoring skills in shooting from various types of weapons acquired during the previous stages of military service, taking into account the time of day and weather conditions.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 264th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 14th November, Russia had lost about 81,370 personnel, 2,848 tanks, 5,748 armoured combat vehicles, 1,839 artillery units, 393 multiple launch rocket systems, 206 air defence systems, 278 warplanes, 261 helicopters, 1,509 drones, 399 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 4,316 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 160 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russian forces destroyed key infrastructure in the southern city of Kherson before they retreated. Zelensky said that Russian troops had “destroyed all the critical infrastructure: communications, water, heat, electricity.”
Zelensky described the humanitarian situation as “severe” due to a lack of water, food and medicine. He also said that Ukrainian forces had removed nearly 2,000 mines, tripwires and unexploded shells that had been left by the retreating Russian forces.
Citizens across Ukraine have hailed the recapture of the southern city, with images of locals welcoming the Ukrainian forces with tears of joy making headlines around the world.
Yaroslav Yanushevych, the Ukrainian Governor of the Kherson region, said that everything was being done to “return normal life” to the region.
Zelensky also accused Russian soldiers of committing war crimes and killing civilians in Kherson. On Sunday, Zelensky said: “Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes.
“Bodies of dead civilians and servicemen have been found. The Russian army left behind the same savagery it did in other regions of the country it entered.”
Ukrainian forces are also assessing what is said to be significant new damage to the Nova Kakhovka dam, which the Russians attempted to blow up when they retreated from Kherson.
It is feared that the dam could flood the area and the city of Kherson if it ruptures. It is currently unclear if its structural integrity is at risk.
Zelensky said that the pro-Russian forces were fighting fiercely in the eastern Donetsk region, saying: “Battles in Donetsk region are just as intense as they have been in previous days.”
He added: “The level of Russian attacks has not declined. And the level of our resilience and courage is at its highest. We will not allow them through our defence.”