He can kill 40 in a day: Meet the ‘world’s deadliest sniper’ who has joined the fight against Russia in Ukraine
A former Canadian sniper left his computer programming job behind to fight alongside Ukrainian forces. He’s known as ‘Wali’, which translates to guardian in Arabic
Ukraine continues put up resistance against Russia as the war enters its 19th day. Thousands of foreign fighters have responded to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s call to fight alongside Ukrainian soldiers and conscripts. One man stands out among the many and he is known as “Wali”, the “world’s deadliest sniper”.
Who is he? And how did he join the conflict?
Wali is a former Canadian sniper who reportedly reached Ukraine on March 4 along with three other ex-soldiers from his country and a group of British veterans. He crossed over from Poland, sheltered in a renovated home before joining the Ukrainian military and citizen soldiers, reports the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The 40-year-old was working as a computer programmer when the war broke out. He left his job and family behind to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. The sniper’s real name remains a secret and he is identified as “Wali”; it translates to guardian in Arabic.
⚡️The most famous sniper "Wali" has arrived in #Ukraine to fight against occupiers
The average productivity of sniper is 7 men a day. On the front type like Ukrainian, productivity can reach up to 10. "Vali" can provide up to 40 deaths per day. pic.twitter.com/XDOibKxiQq
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 10, 2022
Wali left for Ukraine with a handful of combat equipment: backpack, a gas mask, a ghillie suit (a camouflage suit typically used by snipers), binoculars, and a combat jacket from Afghanistan, according to the French publication La Presse. “A week ago I was still programming stuff. Now I’m grabbing anti-tank missiles in a warehouse to kill real people…That’s my reality right now,” he said.
The toughest part so far has been missing his son’s first birthday. But Wali said he had little choice. “I want to help… it's as simple as that," he told the CBC. “I have to help because there are people here being bombarded just because they want to be European and not Russian.”
Wali said that the Ukrainians were glad to see him and his peers join the fight. “They were so happy to have us; it’s like we were friends right away,” he added.
Why is he labelled the world’s deadliest sniper?
Wali served with the Royal Canadian Infantry's 22nd Regiment in Kandahar during the Afghanistan war between 2009 and 2011, reports The Independent. He also reportedly volunteered to fight the Islamic State in Iraq in 2015 and joined hands with the Kurdish forces.
According to media reports, the sniper can deliver 40 kills in a day. On an average, a sniper makes five to six kills in a day.
Wali holds the record of the longest confirmed kill – he shot down an IS’s fighter in Iraq’s Mosul from a distance of 3.5 kilometre using a McMillan Tac-50 rifle in June 2017.
Wali on the war
The sniper said he that could not just sit back and watch an all-out invasion unfold before his eyes. “…when I see the images of destruction in Ukraine, it is my son that I see, in danger and who is suffering," Wali told La Presse. "When I see a destroyed building, it is the person who owns it, who sees his pension fund go up in smoke that I see.”
“I don’t think the Ukrainians deserve what is going on,” he added.
Wali is now making Molotov cocktails and purchasing amateur drones for surveillance, according to the La Presse report. He added that he’d have to “brush up on how to shoot down a chopper or a tank”. He, however, clarifies that he does not “hate the Russians”.
Foreign fighters in Ukraine
According to Ukraine, around 20,000 volunteers from 52 countries have signed up to join the international legion. These foreign fighters can wear the Ukrainian uniform and get a citizenship. This is to make sure that if captured by Russian forces, they will be treated as per the Geneva Conventions of war.
The Canadian government has advised its citizens against traveling to Ukraine. However, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly had said that its citizens may join the forces in Ukraine as an “individual choice”.
With inputs from agencies
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