Russian Troops Using AR Rifles in the Crimea

This photo shows Russian troops arresting Ukrainian naval officers in the Crimea. Surprisingly the solider is holding an AR-10 (or AR-15) rifle. It has a long range scope, a gas block bipod and a suppressor. The Kremlin wants plausible deniability that they are actually occupying the region. Like the rest of the troops occupying the Crimea, he has no insignia on his uniform. The use of Western-style rather than Russian weapons may be to give the Kremlin further deniability.

Thanks to Jim for the photo.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Maxcoseti

    I’m pretty sure that’s an AR-15 (judging by the size and shape of the mag, the size of the pouches and what appears to be a magpul ranger plate)

    • alex

      Yup just looks like a 20 round PMAG

  • Pospelov Sergey

    Wow guys you’re deleteng comments! Good propaganda work!

    • What do you mean we’re deleting comments? I’m about the only one that does and I sure haven’t deleted any from this post.
      Steve is the only other person who deletes so if he did I’m sure he had good reason to do so.

      • Pospelov Sergey

        Ok may it was my mistake. I wrote ‘It is not a russian soldier. It’s Crimea self defence.’ It was posted but some minutes later dissapeared.

        • Wasn’t me and if that’s all you said nobody deleted it.

          • Pospelov Sergey

            Sorry Phil. Your blog is pretty reputable and i was amused. So it was my mistake.
            According to the subj: One AR clone costs about 10 AK’s so it’s just senseless to equip regular troops with it. The uniform he wears I bought in army shop 10 years ago. Modern uniform is other.

          • Max Popenker

            One AR costs about $800 and up. are you telling us that one AK-74M is worth $80?
            As for the guy with AR-15, it’s a local militia-man with some sort of civilian Ar-15, either Zbroyar AR-15 or Schmeisser (both were frrely sold in Ukraine). Yes, guys, that’s the well-regulated militia, which is necessary for the security of the state

          • Tierlieb

            That cheap? Dammit, I need to import from the Ukraine. Schmeisser is probably a wee bit more expensive, right? I mean, they cost about 1800 EUR in the country they are built.

            Still, a factor of 10 is comparing apples to oranges. The days of buying AKs for $50 a piece (if you bought them by the pallet) are long gone and were never available for civilians.

            In most of Western Europe, a cheap AK (e.g. Cugir) is about half what a cheap AR-15 (Sig M400) costs, similar to a premium AK (Arsenal) to a custom, premium AR-15 (Schmeisser, Oberland, DAR or the piston ones).

          • dp

            Your voice’s presence is appreciated to clear the issue. Thanks.

          • No problem at all—

    • Raaka Elgaupo

      expect democracy in ukraine soon.

      • Santa Claws

        I believe its spelled DemoKratsee witch is a new word meaning “boots on neck”

  • Patrick Mingle

    I’m not sure they are going for plausible deniability with the AR. Most of them have been seen with Russian weapons so I’m not sure one guy would throw off the scent

    • mike gee

      The russian “invaders” carrying weapons resembling western forces have as much deniability as US SF personnel in Afghan clothing, chumping snickers bars, carrying bulgarian and polish AKs, and WEARING OAKLEYS

    • mike gee

      Many of the Russkie SF personal have access to western weapons and do deploy them.”apparently” the mythos of the M16 family of weapons being unreliable JUST got shot down, cause with access to railed AK74s, and the new AK 12, apparently these forces have choose the “best”operational weapon they can put their hands on…..

  • Jay T

    The Russians used a lot of mercenaries to do the dirty work for them in Georgia. Unorthodox weapons would suggest that Russia is doing it again.

    • Giolli Joker

      Could be, aside the fact that so far no dirty work has been carried out.
      Crimea wants to be Russian and hopefully it will end up being so with no violence.

      • Raaka Elgaupo

        except the Nato jokers wants to over see so called self written Human rights rules

      • How do you know that Crimea wants to be Russian?

        • Dmitry Onoprienko

          съебись-ка отсюда, шлюха свидомитая

          • This is good example of Russians which support war against Ukraine. All that Russians can do is insulting people which think differently. And who is Nazi now?

          • Watch the language–

        • Giolli Joker

          I’m not calling anybody Nazi… I just see that regardless the referendum, by Ukranian sources, the majority of the population of Crimea is made of Russians.
          I see that Ukranians had the balls to risk their lives on the streets to overthrow a government they didn’t like… but Crimeans didn’t react that way to the Russian “invasion”.
          It just seems that those willing to fight they are flanking Russia.
          Does it mean that everybody in Crimea wants Russia?
          But democracy or what we use to define with this world is always the choice of the majority, the others have just to accept a situation they don’t like.
          I just hope this transition won’t take any lives.
          If EU and US really care about human rights and they aren’t just protecting their economic interests they should grant Crimea (read majority of Crimeans) the right of self-determination and THEN keep eyes open to ensure that minorities aren’t going to suffer.

          Anyway, I love “Firearms not Politics” 95% of these political discussions could have been avoided if the article had ended after the word “suppressor”. Everything else is just asking for a debate.

        • Max Popenker

          have you ever heard about referendum?

    • Max Popenker

      dirty jobs, huh? Blackwater anyone?

      • gunslinger

        where’s Mike Rowe?

      • javierjuanmanuel

        Wow. Yeah, blackwater is the only mercenary company. Have you even seen anything not MSM liberal ?

        Mercenaries go back a millenia. Also expect the way russia works, that anything people in moscow hire or do, is to enrich connected friends. So any mercenaries are under the umbrella of some company of some connected dude, who is connected because of who his dad or grandpa was in communist times. You are completely clueless as to the way things work in russia.

        • Giolli Joker

          “You are completely clueless as to the way things work in russia.”
          EPIC FAIL? 😀

          • javierjuanmanuel

            EPIC FAIL HOW?

            Is that you?

            If so i have looked at your site in the past, its nice. That link, does not show how i was wrong and russian government does not work for connected russians.

            That bio does not share how long you lived there, if you were adopted by americans or some other western nationals. Being born somewhere does not impart wisdom on you, particularly if you move away.

            I have 2 russians that married into my family, i know how it works over there. One of them, their father used to be KGB, and he has 6 houses. He is also connected, and yet terrified of everyone.

            Nothing you shared disproves what i said. Nothing you said shows blackwater is there. Also wasn’t my comment directed at max popenker? Are you using two screen names on here?

            Was epic fail lost in translation? I am thinking you misunderstood somethings because your response is so terrible, i do not understand how you can think you did well.

  • bob

    yea the guys in the backround have ak’s.

    • Zugunder

      The thing is, Russian and Ukraine both have AK’s in their armies/militia/police, and they both have AR’s similarly looking to one on the photo. I don’t get it, what claim can be made? (i’m not tolking directly about you)

  • Guys I know this is a very emotionally charged topic and it’s tempting to bring politics into it but please don’t. No politics remember. Lets just stick with the guns.I don’t want to have to delete comments.

    • Giolli Joker

      I replied with a polite request to edit the article to reduce its “political content”.
      My message disappeared with no trace and the article hasn’t been modified (I wouldn’t have minded if my message had been deleted after the article had been modified).
      Could the staff kindly explain what is going on?

      • AT777T

        Disqus seems to act up fairly regularly, and comments disappearing is one of the more common errors. It’s probably not the mods’ fault.

      • I didn’t delete anything of yours???? Somebody else mentioned that on a post they made. I didn’t delete his either.

        • Giolli Joker

          @ Phil
          Yep there was no reason actually to delete that post… but it disappeared and it puzzled me.
          I didn’t mean to accuse anyone but to voice out my surprise.
          Do you receive reply notifications on your email? Would you mind to check if it’s still there? It was posted, that’s for sure, can’t say for how long.
          Anyway it was a polite request to edit the article. A non-political, pure TFB article doesn’t need anything else after the word “suppressor”. The other sentences are very likely to spark a debate as they convey a clear and strong interpretation of what’s happening that might not be shared by the readers… especially considering that TFB is loved and read daily from all around the world.

          • Zugunder

            Yeah, have to agree on this one. Article is more likely “trolling” article. Here enough Russian and Ukrainian readers to start flood-fest, as we can se below… Despite that i understand feelings of Ukrainians, i feel tough discomfort in my lower back, as i’m in fact Russian. No politics please? (sorry my English)

          • No I don’t get an email concerning any deleted post. I have to check periodically.

    • kalashnikev

      OK. That’s not a picture of an AR-10.

    • wetcorps

      Hehe seems like asking for no politics on this post was like releasing a baby T-rex in a warehouse full of meat and telling it “do not eat anything” 😀

    • Zugunder

      The “photo” link in article redirect now to main yahoo page. Is it just
      for me or original article actually was deleted? Or, perhaps, it was
      combined in bigger article? If so can you ask autor to provide new link otherwise
      that’s something fishy going on here i think… I may be wrong,

      • Zugunder

        Nvm, it’s working now.

    • NikonMikon

      “FIREARMS NOT POLITICS” (except when we want to post political articles and then tell people not to talk about the politics of it, even though we reference multiple political aspects IN THE ARTICLE)

      Seriously? Don’t want people talking about politics? Don’t post political articles.

    • Simon_the_Brit

      There are far too many non firearm posts in this thread IMO. I come here to read etc about Firearms.

  • NEMO

    U.S needs to get off Russian’s “A$$” They didn’t care when U.S invade Iraq for no reason.
    U.S sure didn’t make a peep when Russia invaded chechnya back in the 90s, oh yeah that’s because yeltsin was Clint’s “B*&CH”
    That’s all i am gonna say, Hypocrite abound in this world.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      No reason? They shot at our planes, they tried to kill bush 41, saddam funded terror as he literally sent checks to hezbolla suicide bombers families, he created one of the largest ecological disasters in all of history draining the lower 1/4 of the country and ruining huge wetlands to starve enemies. He killed a couple million people, mostly ethnic genocide. Basically he is mini hitler ! You support that ?

      HIs kids were serial rapists, raping hundreds of brides on their weddings alone. Look into the many connections between the bath party and the nazis. The grand mufti who was close to saddams uncle, and the muslim brotherhood was declared to be white by hitler even though he was arab, and he ran his own crew in germany. They loathed jews. He killed millions, he hid his nuclear program from the UN, he conned the UN food for oil program, he hired dr kahn from pakistan to give him nuclear secrets. He even likely had the one thing liberals like to focus on ….. WMDs. Just shooting at one of our planes and trying to kill our president is enough for war. The rest is just gravy.

      It is a terrible reflection on the US if the 13 likes you have are legit, and they are from americans. You do not know what the hell you are talking about. No reason is very narrow. It is very easy to prove wrong. You are 100 % wrong.

      I bet you and your 13 likes do not know how many towns were searched before it was declared there are no WMDs? Want to guess? 32 towns were searched then the liberal media gleefully reported there was no WMDS.

      You sound as bad as a holocaust denier

      • Zugunder

        Thats all done by Iraq? Where i can read about this?

  • that anonymouce

    After reding woze “article” i lold hardly. Not politiks my MAYDAUN.
    And returning to disscuss:
    1. Its not AR-10, my amerikan friends. Its local (Ukrain) produced AR-15 clone. Zbroyar.
    2. Its not Hurr-Durr Evile Russian Empire soldier. Its obvilious – thats pro-russian local militia. 60% of Crimea population are russ etnicity. They have long (20 year estimate) history of troubles with Kiev central powers. Now Kiev in fire, you now, some type of neo-nazi putsch. And some regions of Ukraine, have “security unstability”. Crimea dissects, Odessa, Kharkov, some eastern regions have manifestation. Up 100K people at once, with pro-russian slogans.
    3. Some Russian tier-0,1 units have western made weapons. But fotos clearly show its equipment has some poor origins: Gorka, local produced vest, bipod mounted on barrell. Not even regular unit.

    • Vitaly Pedchenko

      Shame on people hiding their name and posting lies.

      Russia annexed Crimea. There are hundreds of thousands of people which don’t agree with this but what can they do against armed Russian invasion? Current self-proclaimed prime-minister had just 4% on last elections.

      I am from Kiev, there are no nazis here, don’t lie. Russian propaganda created this myth to justify invasion.

      • guest keyword “nazis at maidan”.
        Or are the images photoshopped?

        • Do you think you can deceive readers of this blog? “nazis in moscow” will show results too. Nazis can be found almost everywhere in small amounts.

          Comrade, don’t believe Putin’s Propaganda, read independent news sources:
          “But according to Ukraine’s chief rabbi Moshe Reuven Asman, there isn’t a hint of anti-Jewish sentiment — either on the Maidan square, where protesters have camped out for four months, or elsewhere in the country.

          Just to be sure, he and Vadim Rabinovich, the president of the Congress of Ukrainian Jews, phoned around to get local confirmation.”

          • Esh325

            I’m sure there are a few Nazis, but it is silly to assume that everybody there that doesn’t like Russia is a Nazi. There are always extremists on all sides.

          • The neonazis don’t serve in the Russian parliament.

            Ukrainian Nazis like Svoboda do have MPs in the Ukrainian parliament. When they get caught telling NATO officials that they need to implement a final solution on ethnic Russians, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Putin intervened.


          • guest

            Google > news > keywords “attacks on jews in ukraine” and keywords “UPA maidan” or “UNSO maidan”

            More of Putin’s propaganda, it just has to be…
            Firebombing of cops, ukrainian “Rada” politician caught with a supressed rifle also Putin’s propaganda.

      • Esh325

        Well I think the people of Crimea have more say on the matter than you or I do and the choice they made was that they wanted to be part of Russia.

        • People which were against it could not protest because of the huge amount of armed people without insignia which occupied Crimea. Here you can see clashes of pro-ukrainian and pro-russian people before invasion, you can see huge amount of people which protest against Russia:

          Results were fabricated. There were no observers. They didn’t allow journalists to work freely. Look what happened to journalist which tried to record a video:
          Have you noticed that hotel where journalists live is occupied by armed men without insignia? One of journalists says that his memory card was intentionally damaged by knife by one of the armed guys. Another armed guy says: “Stop recording, we have broken one of your cameras, now you want more?”

          There were no lists of voters, ballots didn’t have any type of protection and you could just print them in any amount.

          Look what happens to old lady which says that Crimea is a part of Ukraine:

          Do you need more videos showing that this was armed invasion?

          • guest

            Yep, and the referendum also showed a huge amount of people who voted against joining Russia: 4,5%

            That’s probably even more people that voted “no”, than the punks at Maidan that illegally overthrew a govt.

          • You are blind and deaf. Putin’s propaganda works very good. You don’t even try to read what I write.

          • Foghorn Leghorn

            Russia is a media bubble. They truly believe that the uprising was a fascist coup by the CIA, never mind half the protesters were old Babas with rickets from surviving the soviet forced starvation, or 1/3 or Crimeas are Tartars who hate Russia for justifiable reasons. Arguing with uneducated Russians is like trying to fart into the wind. Just don’t do it.

          • guest

            No, it was never a “fascist coup”. But being US policy as it may, when Saddam was a “bastard”, he was “our bastard” as Bush senior put it. Same as with Syria – al Nusra may be al Quaida linked, but it does not matter until the dust settle down. It does neither matter today that the Khalifa family has been at the pedestals of power in Bahrain for over 200 years, even though they have a corrupt family run dictatorship – but as long as they are US friendly Barack will go on record saying that democratic reform for that country is “not appropriate at the moment”. So again with the “our bastard” ideology of use-and-abandon.

            The neo-nazis at maidan, those 16 year old kids that occupied govt building and attacked police are quite real, but I refuse to believe they even know what their own ideology stands for, let alone who is it they helped put into power.
            As for the media bubble – crawl up from beneat whatever rock you live under, and smell the flowers. US has been caught red-handed in every single coup or overthrow of govt from the South-Americas to Europe to Middle East to the far-east. You have this whachumakallit… oh yeah MONROE DOCTRINE and its derivatives. Might want to read up on that and… pretty much the rest of your history all the way from gunboat-diplomacy until the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

          • guest

            Was the referendum Putin’s propaganda? Or could it just be that Crimea had up to their eyeballs with being a part of Ukraine?
            Go back to the forest, ukrainian partizan.

    • Willie Dooval

      dude please take an english writing class on proper spelling above 3rd grade!!!

      • PR

        He is probably writing better English than you or I could of we were writing in Russian or Ukraineian.

    • MCGruber

      No One is buying that “Nazi” narrative. We’re not inside Russian state media here. Save yourself the trouble.

      • It’s not a narrative. The Jerusalem post is printing articles about these Svoboda nazis.

        Perhaps you should spend less time believing everything Obama’s government tells you?

    • Jay T

      That would explain what it looks like an AR platform, and why the guy holding it’s doesn’t look like regular army. I stand corrected,…learn something new everyday.

  • Miško

    Tavor (and other Israeli weapons) in Ukraine also APS (underwater rifle) and other Soviet toys

    • Zugunder

      Gosh, relax your sphincters already. Russians don’t want war Ukraine, build your country and good luck with that (honestly, good luck to Ukrainians) but you don’t gonna get Crimea. Are you realy wanna die for region just not formally was Russian? I would die for it. I would sign up in Russian forces to protect Crimea. Just let it go. There was realy good situation during “invasion” (by forces which was there before that land become Ukranian, and they was there all the time)in terms of bloodshed. I’m feel realy sorry for prapor and tatar. But let’s keep low harming level as it is now.

  • Tierlieb

    I doubt it is a plausible deniability issue. I mean, look at the guy. Not even the ultimate American mall ninja would be caught with miss-matched mag pouches! That’s soooo Russian style. 😉

  • noob

    politics aside,

    Is showing up wearing no recognizable insignia a violation of the laws and customs of war and running the risk of getting you declared an “illegal combatant” instead of a privileged combatant should hostilities commence?

    (tl;dr doesn’t no badge mean you commit a war crime?)

    • claymore

      Yes to all above. Lawful combatants MUST wear distinctive uniforms and insignia particular to their country.

      However they could be “intelligence agents” and not receive the protections which not many countries follow now anyway.

    • Formynder

      It’s not a war crime to do so, it just means you aren’t a soldier and can be treated as a spy, to include summary execution. War crimes would be reserved for actual actions, not just showing up.

      But yes, to be covered as a legal soldier you must be readily identifiable, by uniform or flag.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        No not if you are arab. You will not see anyone on the national news saying geneva convention only applies to uniformed soldiers.

        If you are arab, or asian, you get best of both worlds. They have no such burdens. The west is always wrong, they are always correct. Our military is wrong, they are always right, and always victims.

        Cliff notes, just like when a us spy is caught in cold war era russia or china, he should expect to be tortured and up to killed, it is not wrong, immoral, or against any law to torture and kill muslim combatants.

        So noob, it is not illegal per say, it comes with risk.

    • n0truscotsman
      • noob

        hmm interesting. as per the pdf, there is no way to mistake this masked and openly armed man for a civilian (so he’s not hiding behind civilians), and that’s a good thing.

        but he’s in murky territory when it comes to who he’s answerable to, with not so much as a velcro morale patch that says where he’s from.

        • n0truscotsman

          Very murky! hence our current legal conundrum with captured fighters from Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Partisans should wear some sort of badge or device (An armband suffices). Citizens defending their home or neighborhood need not, provided they do not engage in excursions outside the area.

      Of course, proving either of the above is a separate matter.

  • chaz

    Appears to be a ar-15 mag. isn’t as big as a 308

  • Vauen

    What utter bullshit!

    I bet you that “soldier” is carrying a genuine Airsoft replica! Just look at the rig, is it suitable for the job? Why would anyone entrust him a scope (worth a lot) for a simple patrol duty?! A rifle/scope worth several 100´s USD, but not proper boots to wear? Or a uniform of the right size.

    Americans EU citizens, your “leaders” are selling you out! (soon it is too late)

    • gunslinger

      its a paintball marker…


      • MichaelZWilliamson

        I think he’s obviously ready for a firefight with Airsoft. He knows the Russians won’t really start shooting because of sanctions from President 0.

    • BOB

      Those boots remind me a lot of what our ‘operators’ wear in the Stan and elsewhere. The mag pouches are non-standard, refer to the guys behind him for standard, his uniform is different at well. Merc? US Operative? Russian Rambo? But not a standard infantryman.

      • Vauen

        He is a militiaman, a member of local ad hoc “self defense” forces (wearing sneakers). Russia is not lying here. Anyone can travel to Crimea and met them. It is not a covert operation with unmarked weapons in the jungles somewhere. They are normal people from Crimea who do not want to live with Nazi scum as rulers.

        The author of this article is really very silly!

        • BOB

          I’m not overly critical, its Russia’s backyard and all. I don’t care which way this thing goes, I just really don’t want American blood to be spilled over it, and yes, that will make us seem weak, but how is that any different from how things have gone for the last half decade?

        • n0truscotsman

          “They are normal people from Crimea who do not want to live with Nazi scum as rulers.”

          hear, hear!!!

  • Lance

    Might not be Russian regular forces. there are proRussian militias the area and so maybe get illicit arms both east and western designs.
    Don’t think these guys may be Russian forces.

  • kev

    Its probably a Ukrainian made zbroyar z10….however the russian gun manufacturer orsis the maker of the t 5000 sniper rifle have been making armalite ar 10s and ar 15s for quite a while now under license

  • ColaBox

    A Ruskie rocking Magpul, now that’s something you don’t see everyday.

  • Santa Claws

    Maybe we should drop an unmarked drone on their asses and plausibly deny that we killed a troop of them or two.

  • Esh325

    It’s impossible to say if it’s a Russian soldier. I think it’s likely the Crimean self defense force.

  • Axel Rybaczewski
  • kev

    Russian Orsis, Armalite and a Ukrainian Zbroyar Z15

  • gast24

    Could be the weapon in question, at least it is very similar. The pictures description is:

    “A member of the new pro-Russian forces dubbed the “military forces of the autonomous republic of Crimea” stands guard in the Republican military enlistment complex in Simferopol on March 10, 2014. Crimea’s pro-Russian authorities sought to boost their claim to break from Ukraine Monday as volunteer soldiers swore an oath of allegiance in front of prime minister Sergei Aksyonov. He told journalists 186 volunteers had so far joined the new Crimean “self-defence” units after pro-Moscow forces took power in the region and announced their intention to join with Russia, with a referendum planned for Sunday. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images” users spotted:
    – Daniel Defense AR15 Lite Rail II
    – Adams Arms gasblock
    – Magpul CTR stock
    – Zeiss Conquest scope


  • T.S.

    That weapon probably came from a security services or police special unit cache in Crimea. The convicted rapist V. Yanukovich, yes he spent time in prison for rape in the 70’s before entering the Russian mofia, has a love of weapons, he had over 1,000 automatic weapons in that dacha, HK, Swiss Arms, IMI, Korth, Sphinx you name it. His collection was extensive and included numerous western designs. The Russian military forces in Ukraine are mostly marines and special units similar to green berets and are augmented by local crimean NVD, irregular serb militias, Russian nationalists, russian Chechens, and Crimean police security forces including disbanded Berkyt units who remain loyal to their masters. Many high speed protection and security forces were armed with a mix of modern weaponry recently to include Isreali, swiss, and
    Asian designs. In response to the Russian infiltration, Ukraine is raising a foreign legion battalion 5,000 strong as we speak. So far Putin haters to include many Germans, Turks, Georgians, Latvians, Estonians, Poles ect. have joined. They are rightly afraid of further invasions. These volunteers are undergoing training right now and I saw soldiers stripping Negevs, Isreali made Tavors, ARs, legacy weapons, Aks and even a Bruge and Thomet sniper rifle, RPG 26 and other weapons. Hell I always wanted too fight the Russians and considering my training I might go too. History is being made, and after seeing and hearing how Ukrainians suffered under Russian (Soviet) rule I feel somewhat obliged to help. I’m tired of my desk job anyway :).

    • Crimelister

      The convicted rapist V. Yanukovich, yes he spent time in prison for rape in the 70’s before entering the Russian mofia

      It’s a lie.

  • fred

    mm no politics? fail..
    Crimea IS Russia.
    Read a book.

  • Zugunder

    The “photo” link in article redirect now to main yahoo page. Is it just for me or original article actually was deleted? Or, perhaps, it was combined in bigger article? If so can you provide new link otherwise that’s something fishy going on here i think… I may be wrong, ofcourse.

  • dan citizen

    Really? Are folks this naive?

    I have no dog in this fight, I am not russian, but speak it for work and I have clients who are russian, ukrainian and crimean, I watch the foreign satellite feeds and have seen lots of my client’s home videos from the action over there. (I work for a big auto part supplier)

    Bottom line:

    -This whole mess is way more complicated than portrayed in US news
    -The US has been involved since maidan with troops and contractors both in country and at the borders, this is common knowledge if you live or travel abroad,
    – If somebody has an AR… THEY. ARE. FROM. OUR. SIDE. It is a pride thing with many US affiliated foreign contractors.

  • Pontus

    zbroyar z 15 is the weapon he is holding

  • Archer73

    That’s Crimean local civilian militant with Ukrainian made Zbroyar Z15 rifle (Ukranian AR15 clone). Don’t really see what’s this fuss is about.

  • Medawar

    Not all of the Militia are local.
    About the only time ANY of them have been seen wearing unit badges, the older Western journalists were shocked to recognize Bosnian Serb militia badges which they associated with some very bad deeds indeed.

    They might have been Russians wearing Serb badges to send a message to the local Tartar population, or they may actually have been Serbian heavies, which some sources seem to think plausible.

    But the usual Serb weapon of this type is an AK variant, engineered to shoot a lot more accurately than the original Russian version.

    I think that Ukrainians will be kicked out of their homes, which is traumatic, illegal and very unfair. But I’m seriously fearful of what happens to the Tartars. Especially if Serbians are needed for the task.

  • John C Sell Jr

    There is a Ukrainian company that makes AR-10 and AR-15 style rifles, look here: I’m sure this explains why you might see a Russian troop or pro-Russian militia person with one!

  • sickofthespin

    That is an AR15/M16/M4. The magazine is not big enough to house a 308 round. He is clearly a precision shooter (Sniper). You can’t do that with an AK…Not if you need sub minute of angle accuracy.

  • Steven Livchits

    That Russian soldier is wearing sneakers. He’s uniform is mismatched. It’s looks like local Crimea militia. Russian soldiers have green uniforms and well equipped.

  • Grits.N.Jowls

    Not only are they using ARs but some of those troops may be Blackwater or Xe locals. Nobody can tell one way or the other.

  • Can O’Korn

    That’s Blackwater in the Crimea. They were hired to patrol the streets.

    • Grits.N.Jowls

      Business is good and relatively risk free thanks to the UN & NATO.

  • CavScout

    I agree these are local militia, not Russian military. Also, I couldn’t care less what they do in a region where most everyone is Russian. Finally, it doesn’t look like they are “arresting” these officers; it looks like they are running an ECP into the base.

  • Not deniability.

    The AR platform is more accurate than the AK platform ( the Dragunov is NOT an AK … its a big SKS chambered in 7.62x54R ).

    You wouldn’t really want to bother putting a big scope on an AK.

  • pismopal

    Our Special Operators can carry what they choose..maybe some of them have acquired a taste for US quality machine work and accuracy.

  • The Brigadier

    I’m surprised they aren’t using the SCAR-17S. Perhaps they too are waiting for the longer barrels that FN promised. Where oh where are they FN?

  • Fegelein

    I call local paramilitary. The guy is wearing a mutt rig. He has no helmet. He is not wearing a Russian camouflage uniform. Everyone knows that Russia moved into Crimea — plausible deniability is not so much in question as it has been shot 100 times by an SVD, doused in gasoline, burnt to a crisp, shredded in a jet engine, and fired into the maw of a Great White Shark. Russia rejects the AR platform wholesale after testing it. Plus, he has no identifying insignia; no unit patches, no flag patch, no name tapes or anything else you would see on a serviceman’s uniform. He’s carrying a rifle with a 20 round P-mag a scope and a suppressor. The two guys behind him on the right are wearing the Ukrainian TTsKO camouflage pattern, and it looks like that are being policed by a man with an AK-74, who is standing behind and to the left of the guy with the AR. He is wearing a similar mongrel rig, and like the guy closer up. neither of them have anything like known Russian kit, and neither of them wear any sort of patches. Plus, he looks too fat to be serving on the front line.


    Kick ass.

  • Some Rabbit

    What is the big deal? Is there some international law that says Russians or their allies can’t use AR platform rifles? Maybe the AK variants just aren’t as accurate in a the sniper role. I’ve seen pics of US troops in Iraq carrying AK-47s, so what?