A female Ukrainian sniper codenamed “Charcoal” has been hailed as a national hero, drawing comparisons to a legendary Second World War sharpshooter nicknamed “Lady Death”.
The Ukrainian army has released images of Charcoal, with her face partially covered to mask her identity.
The unnamed markswoman joined Ukraine’s armed forces in 2017, fighting in the east of the country against Russian-backed separatists.
After taking a break from her job in January, the sniper rejoined the Marines when Russia invaded her country on 24 February.
In a message shared by the Ukrainian army, Charcoal vowed to punish Moscow’s forces. “We must take them all out!” she said.
“These people are not human beings. Even the fascists were not as vile as these orcs. We must defeat them,” she added.
Charcoal joins a proud line of Ukraine-born female snipers, the most famous of whom is Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who was dubbed “Lady Death” for reportedly killing more than 300 Germans during the Second World War.
Pavlichenko defended Odesa and Sevastopol against the Nazis, before she was wounded by shrapnel. She later travelled to the US to drum up American support for the war effort.
For her exploits on the battlefield, Pavlichenko earned the Hero of the Soviet Union award, the USSR’s highest military award.
Styled as a new Pavlichenko, Charcoal is not the only female sniper to have been singled out during the Ukraine war. In late March, the Ukrainian army claimed to have captured Irina Starikova, a pro-Russian separatist who is thought to have shot dead 40 Ukrainians in the Donbas region over the last eight years.
Before the publicity surrounding Charcoal, Ukraine’s armed forces sought to raise morale by sharing a selfie of a fighter pilot known as the “Ghost of Kyiv”, claiming they had shot down many Russian planes in the early days of the war.
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