Ukrainian Upset: Russian Fighters Utilize Western-Made Rifle Scopes in Ukraine, Report Reveals

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.26 - 2023 8:09 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Russian combatants in Ukraine are reportedly using hunting rifle scopes produced by Western companies, as revealed by the independent Russian media outlet Important Stories.

The report, published on December 26, 2023, highlights that Russian arms companies have been acquiring these sights from prominent Western manufacturers, including U.S.-based Leupold, U.S.-Japanese firm Nightforce, U.S.-Chinese company Holosun, and Austria's Swarovski Optik.

Intended for hunting and sporting, these rifle scopes have found their way to the frontlines in Ukraine. The investigation uncovered multiple YouTube videos displaying Russian fighters employing these Western-made scopes in combat scenarios.

In 2022 and 2023, Russia imported rifle sights valued at 16 billion rubles (approximately $174 million). One of the primary online sellers, St. Petersburg-based Pointer, acquired 50,000 sights from Holosun for 3 billion rubles ($32.5 million). Another retailer, Navigator, imported sights worth about 400 million rubles ($4.3 million), including over 2,000 products from Holosun.

These products are subsequently bought by Russian arms companies. Notably, Tehnologiya, linked to the former head of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin, purchased optics, rangefinders, glasses, and other gear totaling 140 million rubles ($1.5 million) from Navigator.

The report by Important Stories suggests that Western manufacturers might be unaware of the final destination of their products. Pointer reportedly employs intermediaries in China for its transactions, while Navigator uses go-betweens in Turkey and Kazakhstan.

This information raises concerns about the unintended end-use of Western-made equipment in conflict zones like Ukraine.

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