The Ukrainian sniper credited with killing the Russian officer, recorded 3.4 miles away, was a 58-year-old former businessman who had already readied his rifle when the bullet hit the target.
Vyacheslav Kovalsky’s 12,468-foot shot on November 18 traveled the length of two Brooklyn Bridges in about nine seconds, killing an enemy soldier, according to footage of the incident. Review by Wall Street Journal on monday.
“I thought the Russians would see that that’s what the Ukrainians could do,” the previously unidentified sniper told the outlet in his first media interview.
“Let them sit at home and be afraid.”
According to the paper, Kovalsky and his “spotters” – both members of the Military Counterintelligence Department of Ukraine’s Security Service – initially observed Russian soldiers cutting down timber, but were unable to shoot them. He thought his class was too low.
Then a group of other soldiers appeared, and the Ukrainians realized that one of them was an officer giving orders.
Kowalski lay in near-freezing temperatures for hours, receiving orders to shoot at a target about two and a half miles away.
“You can do it,” the warden instructed him.
The sniper was given the green light after colleagues measured the distance using lasers and used specialist software and weather data to calculate the effects of wind, humidity, temperature and even the curvature of the Earth.
The wind was expected to change the bullet’s trajectory by about 200 feet.
After a test shot 1,000 feet beside the target revealed that the wind speed settings were incorrect, Kowalski reset and reloaded, firing a half-foot-long, 6.2-inch bullet at a speed of 960 miles per hour.
“You have to [shoot] It happens quickly because the wind changes constantly,” Kowalski explained to the media.
Ukraine says it was successful, breaking the previous record for a kill by more than 850 feet.
But Kovalsky said he had already readied his rifle (a Ukrainian-made Volodar Obryu, meaning “Lord of the Horizon”) before it was confirmed that he had hit the target at the scene.
Neither Ukraine nor Kowalskiy disclosed the “geographical location of the gunshots that were heard around the world.”
It was hailed as a much-needed morale boost as Ukraine’s counterattack faltered, but some in the sniper community remain skeptical of the feat.
Some snipers and ballistics experts interviewed by this newspaper said that while it was possible to fire, it would have been extremely difficult to execute.
“With traditional sniping, there are so many variables that are hard to quantify, so really anything over about 1,300 meters. [about 4,265 feet] “Sometimes luck is more important than skill,” said Steve Walsh, a former U.S. Marine Corps sniper instructor.
U.S. ballistics expert Brad Millard told the newspaper that the timing of the nine-second trajectory shown in the video was accurate.
But Millard said he doubted Ukraine knew for sure that a police officer had been killed, a point Kovalsky disputed, citing the size and velocity of the bullet.
“There’s no chance he’s going to survive,” Kowalski said of the bullet that appeared to hit the man in the torso, according to the video.
Why did this sniper, who has won long-range shooting competitions in Europe and North America, hit a stationary target at a similar distance in the NRA’s King of 2-Mile Contest in New Mexico? Some in the international community questioned his fatal shooting. .
Kovalsky registered as a sniper on the first day of the invasion of Russia last year and reportedly has no qualms about killing Kremlin fighters.
“I’m not worried one gram,” the man said.