(UnitedVoice.com) – War is a brutal and dangerous endeavor. It’s meant only for the brave and determined who have a worthwhile cause that death can’t stop. For those who fight, there are few boundaries. It’s do or die.
Ukrainians know this better than many. Since World War II, the former Soviet bloc country resolved to self-rule. Yet, in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military to invade the old partner in the Soviet Union. Putin’s plans haven’t gone as he expected or intended, at least in part because a new military hero is emerging in Ukraine. A female sniper known as “Charcoal” is inspiring the Ukrainian military to press forward and defeat what she calls the orcs.
Female Sniper Emerges as Ukraine’s Newest Military Hero
In early March, US Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stated the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv would fall within 72 hours after the Russian invasion began. It didn’t happen. Instead, Russian forces are leaving the capital and surrounding cities. Some military experts say the Russians have failed to accomplish a single objective in the invasion.
As the news comes about the Russian defeats, Charcoal is becoming a Ukrainian icon after inspiring front-line troops. In 2017, the sniper joined the Ukrainian marines. She fought against pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk — areas in eastern Ukraine where Putin declared the territories independent and under Russian protection during the beginning of the February invasion.
Though her identity is unknown, she is now a powerful symbol for the Ukrainian military and people. The UK Times praised Charcoal as a hero from Ukraine’s past and called her a modern-day Lady Death.
Comparisons to Ukraine’s Most Praised Female Sniper From World War II
In the 1940s, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. As a young woman, Lyudmila Pavlichenko proved herself to Soviet leaders as a sharpshooter and earned a spot as only one of 2,000 women to serve as snipers against the German army. By the end of her time in combat, Pavlichenko compiled a record of 309 confirmed kills. The German military even knew of her and tried to woo Pavlichenko to their side. When she refused, they issued threats against her, to no avail.
Pavlichenko’s reputation as a successful sniper earned her the title of Lady Death.
In 1942, the Soviets sent Pavlichenko to the US to help recruit Americans to the US military to aid in efforts to defeat Hitler. She became a superstar in America. Upon the sniper’s return to Ukraine, the Soviet Union promoted her to major and gave Pavlichenko the official title Hero of the Soviet Union — the nation’s highest military distinction. The government also awarded her the Order of Lenin twice, the highest civilian honor.
Today, Charcoal is drawing comparisons with Lady Death. The Ukrainian leadership hopes she will inspire people to join the Ukrainian military and boost spirits simultaneously. Only time will tell if Charcoal reaches the upper echelons of military folklore. Right now, that’s likely not on her mind. Defeating the Russians and securing her homeland is what probably preoccupies her every thought.
Stay tuned. The world may learn about many more heroes in the coming days, months, and years as Ukraine pushes back against Russian aggression.
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