A Ukrainian sniper has claimed the silver medal for the second-longest combat kill in history, according to Kyiv’s military chiefs.
The unnamed sniper felled a Russian soldier at a distance of 2,710m – around 1.7miles – according to Ukraine’s military, which published what it claimed was footage of the kill looking down the sniper’s scope.
The shot, if confirmed, would see the Ukrainian sharpshooter overtake Briton Craig Harrison who killed two Taliban fighters at a distance of 2,475m in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2009.
An unnamed Canadian sniper holds the record for the longest combat kill at 3,540m, after he took out an ISIS militant at an undisclosed location in Iraq in 2017.
Ukraine claims one of its snipers has taken out a Russian solider at 2,710m, which would be the second-longest ranged kill in combat if it is confirmed
Footage published by the Ukrainian armed forces of their kill shows an image of a man moving among trees before the shooter centres their crosshairs on his chest.
The thermal sight jumps upwards, indicating the rifle has been fired, before the figure drops to the ground around three seconds later.
A second figure then comes running over to the first in an apparent attempt to help his wounded comrade, before the sniper fires a second time.
Both figures then slump to the floor.
The Ukrainian military gave no other details about the incident, such as when or where it was filmed, or the weapon or ammunition used.
Some internet users disputed the footage, suggesting that most thermal scopes would not have been able to spot the Russian soldiers at that distance.
Footage published by Kyiv’s commanders shows the sniper felling one soldier before a second comes running to the rescue, prompting a second shot that fells both
Others remarked that there was too short a time between the rifle being fired and the soldier slumping to the floor to account for the distance covered.
When the Canadian sniper made his record-breaking kill in 2017, the military said it took around 10 seconds for the bullet to hit its target.
Confirming military kills is a notoriously tricky business that largely relies on self-reporting by soldiers due to the difficulty of getting information from behind enemy lines during a conflict.
Over-reporting of casualties is therefore common and has plagued military tacticians throughout history.
Adolf Hitler was said to have badly miscalculated the strength of the RAF during the Battle of Britain because the Luftwaffe exaggerated their kills by a factor of seven during the early weeks of fighting.
The RAF was later found to have over-counted their own kills by a factor of two.
In the case of Craig Harrison, the Afghan National Police confirmed he had killed two Taliban fighters when they visited the site of the shooting shortly afterwards to try and retrieve the militants’ weapons.
Ukrainian soldiers open fire with an artillery gun on Russian positions near the frontlines in Bakhmut, Donetsk, as the war continues
A destroyed Russian military vehicle is seen at Mirolubovka Village in Kherson, which was recently recaptured by Ukrainian forces
An Apache helicopter fitted with a laser range-finder was then sent up over Corporal Harrison’s firing position to measure the distance between the two points.
Harrison later said he took the shot using an L115A3 Long Range Rifle and conditions were ‘perfect’ at the time – no wind, mild weather, and good visibility.
In the case of the record-breaking Canadian shot, it is thought to have been caught on film by a Predator drone circling overhead at the time.
The Canadian military said the shot was taken by a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle fired from the upper floors of a high-rise building.
A report by news site SOFREP said the kill took place in Mosul, and that the shooter and his team had recently trained in long-range sniping.
They had been firing at increasing distances over the city for several days leading up to the record-breaking kill.
A second shot by the same sniper at a slightly shorter distance moments after the first missed its target, the site reported.
The Ukrainian military did not say how it had confirmed their sniper’s effort.