Hello reddit. My name is Daniel. I was a sniper on the side of the russian special forces in 2017 for 9 months, and i was wounded. I am still bound by a non-disclosure document, but I hope that I will have no problems. Sorry for my English. Ask your questions.

Here is my medal. The inscription on the medal: the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, a participant in the military operation in Syria. https://imgur.com/ZG0ufMf https://imgur.com/Hkafsvr

Comments: 204 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

EdChamberz_23 karma

What do you think about international proxies and interventions in foreign wars in general ?

MarkRenton9335 karma

I think that this is just a foreign policy, an increase in influence. I participated in several such operations and have never seen an end to the war or stabilization of the situation. There is always only more violence in the end.

EdChamberz_6 karma

Knowing this, if you could, would you continue fighting in wars like this?

MarkRenton9338 karma

No more, I quit a year ago. It was against my beliefs, I was disappointed. I really believed that I could change something for the better, but the result was different.

maxmillion959620 karma

What sniper rifle(s) were you using?

MarkRenton9328 karma

I had SSG 04, as well as the Russian large-caliber ASVK, which we rarely used.

bethaneyrs18 karma

Last question: Which weaponry would you say is the most terrifying sounding?

MarkRenton9322 karma

Damn, for me it was an 86mm rocket-propelled grenade launcher. I stood a few meters from this thing when it fired. The shooter must warn others shouting the word "fire" so that others close their ears and do not stand behind the grenade launcher. The shooter did not do this, and I thought my eardrums would burst, it was very painful.

calkel218 karma

What complications do snipers face that everyone else is not aware of?

MarkRenton9357 karma

Too high efficiency - my shots at people are much more accurate than that of a regular infantryman. And I often know that it was me who killed this man. Sometimes these are actions in isolation from the main forces - only me and my partner. Support is not in tens of kilometers, but sometimes there is a chance that they will not be able to help us. Sometimes you have to spend hours in the same position, be alert, wait for orders.

dyingmilk2 karma

Have you ever went up to their body afterwards and questioned them as they're dying since they're isolated from support anyway lol or do you shoot to kill not wound?

MarkRenton933 karma

We spoke with some of the wounded and dying, and some of the wounded were given first aid. But these people were not injured by me. Those people whom I shot were usually far from me surrounded by others with weapons, so we did not go to them immediately after the shot. I shot in the chest area, it is almost always death.

WHO_TF_RU0 karma

Why not headshots?

MarkRenton932 karma

It’s easier to get into the chest, and that’s enough. I can make a headshot, but then the chance of a miss is higher.

DuvetCapeMan17 karma

Have you ever been ordered to kill someone you think shouldn't have been killed, but had to because it was an order?

MarkRenton9345 karma

Have you ever been ordered to kill someone you think shouldn't have been killed, but had to because it was an order?

I shot a guy in a balaclava, about 14 years old, who shot from AK to our convoy. I did not want to do this, but I had to.

Lemmywinks197814 karma

Are you the Winter Soldier? I knew it was you, Bucky!

MarkRenton9350 karma

No, I'm the Сaptain Russia.)

Bleach_addiction13 karma

If any, how many people did you kill? Do you regret any?

MarkRenton9343 karma

I may not count someone, but for all my service I have 63 officially confirmed people who were eliminated, 54 of them in Syria. I regret that, in principle, I chose this profession. The people I shot were armed terrorists, many of them doing terrible things. But due to our intervention, the situation also did not get better. I would rather choose a profession that I could tell my parents about.

Esquala7139 karma

What do your parents think you do?

MarkRenton9335 karma

My parents knew that I was a soldier, they also knew that I participated in military operations, but no specifics. I simply could not tell them anything, not even because of secrecy, but simply because all this is disgusting. Once I got drunk and told something, my parents were shocked. This is not a profession in which I could tell you how my day went.

plusoneforautism6 karma

In which other conflict outside of Syria did you serve? Where were the other 9 confirmed people from?

MarkRenton939 karma

These were counter-terrorist operations in the North Caucasus.

NaNaNaOkay10 karma

What was the most terrifying, scariest moment you had while in the battlefield?

MarkRenton9351 karma

That was our air support. Two helicopters arrived to help us, and some missiles fell 30 meters from us, they simply missed. One of them fell near the iron gate, which came off, flew at us and shot down one of our guys. I thought he was dead. I ran to him, but he was fine. On that day, i thought that our helicopters would kill us.

And there was a very terrible incident with two soldiers. They got drunk, went to the city, where they were caught by local terrorists. They were cooked alive in a boiler and posted on the Internet.

NaNaNaOkay6 karma

Holy shit dude, glad you're okay. Hope you boys got some justice for your boys.

MarkRenton9318 karma

Unfortunately, we never found these bastards.

tja_14788 karma

What were the general feelings or attitudes toward Americans among you and your fellow soldiers?

MarkRenton9325 karma

Everything was fine. We understood that American soldiers are just the same guys, only on the other side of the barricades. I never interacted with them personally, but I saw them at a distance of about 3 kilometers. Some of my fellow soldiers crossed paths with them, no aggression. We must be professionals. The only time I felt negative about American soldiers was shelling the positions of terrorists from US ships. These were tomahawks, if I am not mistaken - about 70 missiles that flew in the night and exploded with a deafening roar. We were afraid that one of them might fly to us. I was at the base, and we all walked and slept in body armor and helmets. It would hardly help us, but the command ordered us to put on all this. None of them hit us, so everything is okay.

tja_14782 karma

Were there plans in place in case someone was injured or killed, like retaliation? Or did they say they would let the sides talk it out first if that happened?

MarkRenton938 karma

I think that at first there would be negotiations, but I don’t know for sure. We understood that the 3rd World War most likely did not begin, but tension hung in the air.

tja_14782 karma

Interesting, I'm very intrigued by all of this. If you don't mind me asking, on a different note how long was your training to become a fully qualified special forces sniper?

MarkRenton937 karma

It's ok. I was already a soldier for 2 years, when I got to sniper courses because of the high rates of shooting tests. The courses themselves lasted 6 months, I shot from almost all the sniper rifles that we have in service. I fired many thousands of rounds and returned to my platoon with sniper training.

tja_14782 karma

What could you do for entertainment and leisure while in Syria? Did you have tv, xbox or anything similar?

MarkRenton9312 karma

Only an old TV that caught Turkish channels, a radio with Arabic songs, and books. I preferred books , I read a lot of books there. I read some of Shakespeare’s works and all of Mark Twain’s books, for example.

Jalambi3 karma

What's your favorite Mark Twain book?

MarkRenton936 karma

I would say it is The Gilded Age. It was very interesting to read about how people try to get rich by all means, create impossible projects and forget about everything else.

xyniden7 karma

Have you ever thought about consulting for video games? I know BattleState Games is based in Russia and have a very realistic shooter, and they seem like they could really use help with certain things I'm sure you would be very knowledgeable about, namely zeroing over large distances and bullet drop across multiple calibers. They also might be interested in your history/story and helping out since you are fellow countryman and it could help with making some money on the side since it wouldn't be something full time

MarkRenton939 karma

Damn, I love video games. It would be cool to participate in something like that, but probably such a game would be boring. Because I will bother everyone with my corrections for wind, temperature, bullet derivation, etc. No one wants to aim for half an hour to make a shot. But I would be happy to take part in creating a video game, definitely.

xyniden4 karma

You should try reaching out to them! They're based in Saint Petersburg if I remember, and they have a Twitter account you could probably message :)

MarkRenton934 karma

Thanks for your advice, I will try.)

Esquala7137 karma

Hello from Texas, what do you do with your days now? Are you retired because of your injuries? All the best to you.

MarkRenton9326 karma

Hello. I don’t actually do anything, I still have army money, so I may not work. I can’t get a job, to be honest, I have mental problems, visits to a psychiatrist and pills. My country pays me a pension for veterans, but it is too small. I have problems with adaptation, although now it’s better than before.

Pwn5t4r133 karma

Are you problems mainly to do with PTSD or something else?

MarkRenton9318 karma

I have post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, I don’t know which of these harms more. When I left the army, I drank, used drugs, and was very conflicted. I can’t feel safe without a weapon, I have weapons all over the house. But now I feel better, even though I am taking 5 types of prescription meds.

coryrenton6 karma

What advances in technology do you think would help or even replace human snipers in the future?

MarkRenton9310 karma

Aircraft with precision weapons, in particular drones. Even now, you can get a high-precision rocket into an object the size of a bicycle from a height of several kilometers.

coryrenton2 karma

Do you see snipers being replaced entirely within 10-20 years?

MarkRenton934 karma

u see snipers being replaced entirely within 10-20 years?

I think that they will still remain, sniper rifles will become more accurate, and the snipers themselves will still be used in large-scale military operations. Snipers can be replaced in tasks while eliminating individual targets.

FarTooLong5 karma

What do you think is the Russian mission in Syria? What do you think is the American mission? Do the Americans have any business there? Were you a volunteer or a draftee?

MarkRenton9323 karma

What do you think is the Russian mission in Syria? What do you think is the American mission? Do the Americans have any business there? Were you a volunteer or a draftee?

They all make money there, it seems to me, expand the sphere of influence. We were given brochures with a list of our tasks in Syria, but no one took it seriously, we did not understand what we were doing there. I think we all fought for Syrian oil. I am a professional military man, so I got there because of a contract.

Lil_Dino5565 karma

What led you to join the military and why be a sniper? (unless you didnt have a choice)

MarkRenton9315 karma

When I was growing up, there were many terrorist attacks in Russia. In my city too. I was an idealist patriot and joined the army to fight terrorism. Yes, I'm not very smart. I became a sniper after two years of contract, simply because the salary was higher.

AJFlyy2 karma

I was an idealist patriot

And now?

MarkRenton934 karma

Now I do not want to have anything to do with all this.

AJFlyy1 karma

What do u mean?

MarkRenton934 karma

I mean, I'm tired of all this war crap, I don't want to be anymore involved in this.

da_PeepeePoopooMan5 karma

I was a mortar man in us army also served in Syria. I like to think that had we encountered any Russian troops on the ground we likely would of been more likely to trade patches and smoke cigarettes than we would have a stand off despite our governments disagreeing with one another. Would that be the same sentiment on the RU side?

MarkRenton938 karma

Definitely. We never wanted to fight with American soldiers, you guys were in the same situation as we are. I did not personally contact the American soldiers, but some of my colleagues crossed with your convoys, the guys just talked, no aggression. And yes, I smoked swapped American cigarettes.))

AltseWait5 karma

Does Russia still employ women as snipers like they did in World War 2?

Do you ever dream of your time in the war? Is it one single dream or different dreams?

I admire marksmanship. I send you much respect, and may you heal.

MarkRenton9330 karma

We have women snipers, but I have not seen any of them in the war, or military operations. All my colleagues were men. I never wanted to go back, but in a peaceful life for me at first it was all too complicated. I could not choose a can of cucumbers in the store, because there were 10 of them. I could not talk about politics, economics, relatives, etc. I felt dumb and constantly looked at the roofs in anticipation of being shot from them. This is a plus of war, everything is much simpler there - you, your rifle, orders. And your boys are with you.

lukasbradley2 karma

I thought the movie The Hurt Locker captured your thoughts very well. If you haven't seen it, look it up.

MarkRenton932 karma

Thank you, I will watch this movie.

JuliusCoke4 karma

What were you thoughts when you got wounded? Did you seem alright or was it a scary experience?

Thank You!

MarkRenton9324 karma

I was injured when I was in an armored personnel carrier. It was a shot from an RPG. I was shocked by the shell, a splinter hit my shoulder, it also burned, the body armor melted to the shoulder, because something caught fire. I went out myself, not understanding anything, my ears rang and I could not hear anything, I took off my body armor and it was a bad idea - my skin remained on it. We had no painkillers (Promedol), but I did not feel pain until I arrived at the base. Then I went to the hospital and soon returned home.

GalwayPlaya3 karma

is your user name a reference to the main character of trainspotting?

MarkRenton935 karma

Yes, I love this movie and book.)

GalwayPlaya1 karma

Nice :) have you seen Irvine Welsh wrote a book called skagheads that follows the guys before the time of trainspotting, i bought it for myself at Christmas but haven't read it yet, should be a great read

MarkRenton931 karma

No, but I read Trainspotting, Marabou Stork Nightmares, Filth, The Acid House and Ecstasy. I really like Welch's books.

MkGlory1 karma

Dude I admire you I couldn't understand shit of his "English"

MarkRenton931 karma

I was looking for slang translations on the Internet, to be honest. My English is also very crappy.)

bethaneyrs3 karma

Do you think Isreal has any hand in this war? Because the isreali air force seem to attack Syia whenever the Syrian Arab Army make advancements to clear out the remaining terrorists.

MarkRenton9310 karma

I think that Israel is definitely participating actively in this war and has its own political and financial goals. There are more hidden participants in this war than official ones. There are many mercenaries and foreign terrorist groups in the country. The brochures that were given to us described about 50 terrorist groups actively fighting in Syria.

jel47473 karma

Does the Russian Army provide any education assistance to veterans? I know the American military does, not that it matters but there was a friend of mine that got out and went school for computer science, trying to forget about the war. He is a gamer as well... I did 11 years and got out and Im working in EMS now trying to give back. Its not as exciting as being deployed but Ive found some meaning in it.

MarkRenton936 karma

Yes, we have good incentives for veterans to enter universities, academies, etc. You will still have to pass the exams, but the passing grade will be much lower, and you will most likely be taken on special terms.

Fantablack1833 karma

What was it like operating in a place like Syria?

MarkRenton939 karma

It’s very hot, everywhere there are deadly insects and snakes, problems with water and food, constant dysentery, it’s hard to understand where civilians are, because civilians sometimes shoot at you too.

Pepsiman10312 karma

At what point do they stop being civilians

MarkRenton939 karma

When they start shooting at you.

DirkBabypunch3 karma

I've seen the shenanigans bored American servicemen get up to. Are there any dumb things Russian servicemen do to pass time that you think are particularly amusing to watch?

MarkRenton9311 karma

Well, if you were at the base, sometimes you could watch the performances of all kinds of Russian dance duets and singers - the government paid them and told them to give patriotic speeches. So they go on stage and say: "Yes guys, you are real patriots, the pride of the nation." And you are like this: "Just shut up and sing already, you don't know shit."

Cyborg522 karma

At which point in your professional life, you fear the most ?

MarkRenton935 karma

I’m afraid to jump with a parachute, even after 40 jumps I still think every time that I’ll break myself to death.

xebecv2 karma

Have you fought in Ukraine?

MarkRenton932 karma

No, I didn’t fight there.

babalinobaba2 karma

Do you have a wife? Do you lived with your family? Did you think about getting back on military? And I wish you a mental recovery.

MarkRenton9311 karma

No, I'm not married, and I no longer have long-term relationships. Not every girl wants to be with a guy who has psychological problems. And I don’t have enough strength to support my partner, I spend all my energy not to get to a psychiatric hospital. I live alone in my apartment. No, I don’t want to return to the military, enough for me. Thanks for your words.

mrbabybluman2 karma

Do snipers keep a tally of kills? I’ve always wondered how accurate a confirmed kill is or if they are exaggerated somewhat. Two snipers that come to mind are Lyudmila Pavlichenko who is credited with 309 confirmed kills and Vasily Zaitsev with 257 kills.

MarkRenton9311 karma

Snipers kill more often than ordinary soldiers. Yes, we count the number of people killed, and our command counts, because this is important tactical information. But in the calculations there are sometimes errors, of course. To be honest, artillery and pilots kill many more people.

mrbabybluman1 karma

Were you usually teamed with a spotter on your assignments? From my understanding a sniper and a spotter need have a lot of trust and a very good bond with one another. From what I’ve read the spotter is usually the best shooter on the team, but I’ve also read which kinda contradicts that, is the spotter is kind of like an apprentice to the sniper and one day will become a sniper with his/her own spotter.

MarkRenton9313 karma

Yes, we worked with my detective. He is also a good sniper, and usually he had an AK with a collimator sight, with which he had to cover our departure in case of anything. We also brought along a large-caliber sniper rifle and ammunition for it when necessary. I was the commander of a sniper brigade, and I also shot. But without him, I would be ineffective over long distances. We are good friends with him, we still communicate, I know his wife, etc.

MkGlory1 karma


I believe it's technically called "spotter" in English. What is the Russian word for such a soldier?

MarkRenton931 karma

Yes, you're right, I think. My English is not very good. This specialty is called spotter. In Russian, this is a "correctirovshik" - a person who adjusts your fire.

Jablu3452 karma

Did you ever come across an enemy in the field that was tactically better or was closer in its ability?

MarkRenton933 karma

No, we were always better prepared and equipped, but some guys were ambushed - and then the advantage was on the side of the enemy. I myself was injured during an ambush.

OceansCarraway2 karma

Do you worry about aftereffects of exposure to toxic chemicals? In America, we have a number of veterans who suffer from 'Gulf War Syndrome' from exposure to very toxic compounds during the 1990-19901 Persian Gulf War. Would you be concerned about anything like that?

MarkRenton935 karma

I do not think so. I was not exposed to any chemicals, although there was a case when we wore chemical protection suits and gas masks in anticipation of a chemical mustard gas attack. This attack did not happen in the end. Of the negative effects of hostilities, I have post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, which may have existed before, but escalated in the war.

BSCLLC4 karma

I have PTSD from other traumatic events (I never was in the military) but you should check out meditation. It helped me through a lot of my problems:


MarkRenton933 karma

Thanks for your advice, I will try.

hokeyWB1 karma

What were your Rules of Engagement?

MarkRenton935 karma

You can shoot only with direct order or if they shoot at you.

RedChi-ken1 karma

What is your honest opinion about Russia?

MarkRenton933 karma

A country with huge potential and a lot of problems that prevent it from realizing this potential.

thejuicybean1 karma

Do you regret anything you did as a sniper?

MarkRenton934 karma

I regret having joined the military at all.If we talk about any specific cases, then I believe that I always acted according to the situation, otherwise it was impossible.

Ex0tictoxic1 karma

What do you think about the reports that British/American forces have had armed confrontations with Russian forces? Do you think they're true? What do you think was the cause of this?

Second, did being involved in such a war make you change your perceptions of your country or your government?

MarkRenton932 karma

I do not think that there were any direct clashes, there could be random episodes that no one planned. If something like this happened, it is most likely due to a lack of information or local errors. Previously, I did not like our government, and I do not like it now. Participation in this war made me grow up. Politicians care only about politics, that’s what I think.

A-Stupid-Redditor1 karma

We’re you ever hesitated on pulling the trigger, if so, who was it and why?

MarkRenton931 karma

I already told this story. It was a teenager who shot at our convoy. I just didn't want to kill him.

frozenbubble1 karma

So no one asked this question yet, but what is the usual distance to the target? And what was the furthest target, that you actually hit?

There was a british soldier recently, about 2 year who beat the long time record in afghanistan if i remember correctly

Edit: Canadian http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40381047/a-canadian-sniper-breaks-the-record-for-the-longest-confirmed-kill-shot---but-how

MarkRenton937 karma

The distance to the target can be different, but I prefer not to be in the zone of precise destruction by small arms. The shortest distance I shot was about 300 meters. I shot at the driver of the car with the IED, which was rushing towards our checkpoint. I eliminated most of the targets from a distance of about 900 meters while supporting the main forces. The longest shot of 1834 meters was made from a large-caliber rifle, I received a medal for this.

reallyreally_hungry1 karma

How do you feel about russian planes dropping bombs on innocent syrians? Or do you believe russia is only killing/targetting terrorist?

MarkRenton933 karma

I don’t know anything about drones, but I know about civilian casualties from small arms, artillery, and air strikes. I know about cases when bullets got the wrong way when drunk bastards in an armored personnel carrier drove a civilian car. I am aware of cases of civilian killings by Russian soldiers, American soldiers, Syrian government forces and terrorists. All this is just crazy shit. This is what the face of war looks like.

Ciraciello1 karma

How did you get around? Was it an undercover mission where you had to stay off radar and out of sight?

MarkRenton933 karma

Not always. But very often these are undercover missions in isolation from the main troops, where you should not be detected.

AJFlyy1 karma

Зачем ты удалил мой коммент?

MarkRenton932 karma

Я не удалил ни один из комментариев в этом треде.

AJFlyy1 karma

Странно, что именно мой комментарий про Сирию и Украину удалился.

Ладно. Спрошу серьёзно без шуток (хотя может так показаться).

Как тебе кажется, врут ли про Сирию на РосТв? Относительно «героизма» войск, их хорошести и пр. Мне вот кажется. Сколько ещё будут про неё «просвещать» (по твоему мнению)? Насколько я слышал, по тв-новостям (сам давно не смотрю) только и говорят про Сирию и Украину (ну и Путин молодец).

Кстати, про Украину. Знаешь ли ты кого-то (не обязом лично), кто со стороны России (ест-но, неофициально) участвует в войне?

Банальный вопрос, но тоже без шуток. По твоему мнению, Крым чей?

MarkRenton932 karma

Я нашёл твой комментарий, он на месте. Но отвечу на этот. Я тоже давно не смотрю телевизор, у меня его вообще нет. Врут ли? Конечно. Это пропаганда. И так в любой стране - не бывает героических войн, всегда есть жертвы среди гражданских, голод, разруха и т.д. Лично не знаю, из моего подразделения никто не участвовал. Я знал человека, который утверждал, что участвовал. Но правда ли это, мне неизвестно. Крым чей? Ну, с учётом того, что там действуют российские законы и проходят учения российских войск, де-факто он точно российский. Другой вопрос - справедливо ли это? не знаю, это опять-таки грязная политика. Ни я, ни мои сослуживцы не поддерживали его присоединение, потому что было ясно, что это чревато опять-таки военными проблемами, и это никак не помогло урегулировать конфликт, который сейчас происходит на востоке Украины.

MkGlory1 karma

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

MarkRenton935 karma

I would rather fight one horse-sized duck — it’s easier to shoot.

EmTee7101 karma

Have u ever shot at/engaged US soldiers?

MarkRenton931 karma

No, I never shot American soldiers. And our other soldiers did not shoot at them either. If I did this, a military tribunal would judge me. We had a professional relationship with American soldiers.

lifelessStar1 karma

Can anyone train to become a sniper or are there specific individuals that are chosen based on their skill set?

MarkRenton935 karma

My squad was initially very tough. After the course of a young fighter, you can shoot well with all the main weapons, have parachute and mountain training, survival and orientation skills, you can control an armored personnel carrier, etc. Sniper is only a separate specialty, we all know how to shoot with sniper rifles, I just shoot better. I showed good results on the shooting test, and I was offered to become a sniper, I agreed.

You can be taught to shoot well, but this is only a small part of the sniper profession.

XiXnXvXw1 karma

Wish you a speedy recovery. How do you cope with death of a colleague or unwittingly killing a civilian?

MarkRenton9313 karma

Thank you. I felt almost nothing there, just was in an altered state of consciousness. It was sad, but I was fine. Then I returned with concussion and mental problems - now I go to the psychiatrist and take a whole mountain of pills.

TheKlic1 karma

Favorite food to eat while camping/hiking?

Coffee, tea, or other favorite breakfast drink?

What song got stuck in your head the most when you were stuck out for days on end?

MarkRenton9317 karma

During the campaigns, the food is often quite crappy. I hate dry rations even more because I ate them for weeks. But once we shot a sheep and fried it at the stake. It was very tasty.

Coffee. I drink it all the time, probably I have an addiction.

We had a problem with music, because we were allowed to take only old phones without a camera and GPS, and there was no music there either. We also had an Arab radio that no one listened to either. Everything changed when we were able to buy a bluetooth speaker with a flash drive with music. There weren’t many songs, but we danced cool in body armor at a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius to a song Don't speak - No doubt. It was very funny.

nonspecifique1 karma

Do you think snipers get a fair slice of war?

MarkRenton936 karma

There are soldiers who are worse off. Escorting columns and working as a sapper is hel

chibinoi1 karma

Hello Daniel, thank you for sharing with us your experiences. I sincerely wish you all the best on your road to recovery—enough that you may be able to feel like it’s okay to live again, and more.

My questions for you: are the special forces division(s) of the Russian military called spetsnaz, or is there a more definitive term? And alongside your special training as a SF sniper, did you have to undergo any additional training that any aspiring or selected solider seeking to join the SF divisions have to undertake?

MarkRenton933 karma

Thanks for your words. Spetsnaz is an abbreviation for the term special forces, so yes, all special forces are spetsnaz. Yes, each of our recruits undergoes physical training, learns to shoot, undergoes tactical training, mountain training, parachute training, survival lessons, orienteering, driving an armored personnel carrier and much more.

ultimazan1 karma

which particular group were you fighting?

do you think other Russians commit abuse in Syria? what did you think about the Syrian government or about any abuses they've done?

MarkRenton933 karma

There were a lot of them, we were told that about 50 terrorist groups were fighting there. But with ISIS too, yes. I know that they commit violence. There were no such cases in my platoon, but I definitely know that some bastards were doing shit there. The Syrian government also creates a huge amount of violence, the same crap only on behalf of the official authorities.

corraperator1 karma

Каково было в Сирии? Ты не думаешь, что кроме борьбы с ИГИЛ Россия просто расширяет свою сферы влияния? Или ты далек от политики, как любой адекватный воин?

MarkRenton932 karma

Ну, как на войне - никакой справедливости, хаос, разруха, загубленные жизни. Я думаю, что расширение сфер влияния - первоочередная задача, остальное идёт уже в комплекте. Я далёк от политики, не хочу сейчас иметь с ней ничего общего.

corraperator1 karma

Окей, последний вопрос. Ты бы хотел, чтобы войны прекратились?

MarkRenton932 karma

Хотел бы, да, но вряд ли мои хотелки чего-то да стоят.

IMakeProgrammingCmts1 karma

Will you ever consider resuming the fight, but aim at the real enemy (the elites that start these wars for their own gain)?

MarkRenton932 karma

I never want to shoot anyone again, and I will do my best to make it happen. I doubt that even more deaths will solve at least some problem.

Morbo5121 karma

How would you decide which potential targets to engage and which to ignore?
Would you ever go out with the objective of neutralising a specific individual, or were high-value targets idenitified and engaged in-situ? Or would you just set up in a spot and engage anything you could confirm as hostile within your field of fire?
Would you typically be acting/positioned in direct support of other elements, or would your team often be acting independently?
What would you do to lighten the mood or otherwise pass the time?

Thanks for doing this ama, I apologise if any of these questions make you uncomfortable. In any case I wish you the best in your recovery.

MarkRenton932 karma

Confirmation for the shot is always required, except in cases where there is an immediate threat to you or your guys. There were cases when we had to neutralize someone specific, there were also cases when we provided fire support to someone, helped to direct aircraft and artillery, simply examined enemy positions, collecting important data. We are very mobile and multi-tasking. More often we acted in isolation from the main troops, but sometimes together with them. I read to cheer myself up, read whenever I could. It's ok.)

LukeyNC1 karma

Did you ever miss any shots on a target? If so what was the story?

MarkRenton935 karma

This happens, but rarely - we are well prepared for each shot. I shot the guy who shot our guys from a narrow slit, only his head and rifle were visible, and he was very far away. My bullets hit the wall twice a centimeter from him, but he did not even think about changing the position, so the third time I hit the target.

Jablu3451 karma

For the SAA, NDF, Iran Militias, Special paramilitaries did any units stand out as professional? Did you ever meet or see Brig General Issam Zahreddine?

MarkRenton933 karma

We interacted with ordinary soldiers of the Syrian government forces; they were poorly trained. We also interacted with the military intelligence of Syria - Mukhabarat, but they did not participate in the hostilities. No, I never saw him. But I saw other Syrian generals, one of them was responsible for communication, and we covered his arrival.

Jablu3451 karma

The targets you were engaging, did you notice whether they were chechen, urguhr, pakistani, or european? Did you notice a supplier for their equipment like if it there arms were produced in Bulgaria or the medical equipment was from Saudi?

MarkRenton931 karma

I can’t say for sure who they were, this was later dealt with by the intelligence unit. But I know for sure that my colleagues were confronted with foreign mercenaries from different countries, intelligence confirmed this. I don’t know about equipment, most were old Soviet equipment, but supplies from other countries were for sure, we knew about it.

Jablu3451 karma

How do Russian soldiers view their UK and US counterparts? A cold war foe? Fat? A similair unit?

MarkRenton936 karma

The same soldiers as we are.

Norgeroff0 karma

What color is your toothbrush?

MarkRenton933 karma

It's black)