A photo of a Russian soldier using a bow and arrow in Ukraine has brought ridicule online.
The images, which first began circulating on Telegram in November, were shared on Twitter Tuesday by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.
“A photo of a Russian soldier from Bashkiriya at war in Ukraine is shared by Russian Telegram channels. He is armed with bow and arrows. He also has a rifle just in case. Is there a cavalry riding somewhere?” Gerashchenko tweeted.
The photos show the soldier standing in an empty field while aiming an arrow into the sky, with a rifle slung around his back. He has a quiver of arrows by his right side, and what appears to be fox tails protruding from behind his helmet.
A video has circulated on social media depicting the same soldier shooting an arrow after counting to three and then holding his rifle. A voice can be heard in the clip, possibly saying that his target was hit.
According to local media Telegram channels, the soldier is from the Republic of Bashkortostan, which is unofficially called Bashkiria, which is located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains.
The Bashkirs are a non-Slavic ethnic group within Russia and reside primarily in Bashkortostan, with the majority of the population practicing Islam. Some of them have been enlisted in the Russian armed forces and are fighting in Ukraine.
Twitter users were quick to ridicule the soldier’s choice of weapon in the ongoing war, which is in its 11th month since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded the country on February 24, 2022.
“I would initially guess he’s an archery enthusiast, but my youngest son has a nicer and more powerful bow,” one Twitter user commented.
“When you’ve watched Avatar one too many times,” wrote historian Alexander Stoyanov, referring to the science fiction movies directed by James Cameron.
Twitter user Cristopher Coulter said: “It’s not the bow that would concern me, it’s the whole taking holiday pictures in an open field during an armed conflict. Seriously though, I keep seeing Russian forces operating with no cover and presumably little training.”
Another user tweeted: “Four arrows. In a totally open field, where a rifle has probably 20 times the range. That could explain a lot about the performance of the Russian army.”
Last week, a prominent former U.S. general said that Putin’s forces are “quickly running out” of weapons in Ukraine.
Mark Hertling, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, told CNN that Putin is likely quite keen to build up relations with Iran and China because of his army’s dwindling supply of weapons and munitions in Ukraine.
“The truth of the matter is [that] Russia is attempting to gain partners with different countries, who have different types of ammunition that they can help supply this war,” Hertling said. “And I think Mr. Putin is realizing that he’s quickly running out of the kinds of munitions he needs to continue this fight.”
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