New Meaning to “Live Targets” from the Ukraine

Some training exercises leave a bit to be desired but when you’re in the military you’re there to follow orders, not custom-tailor your own CrossFit program. While there are certainly physically and mentally grueling drills and training exercises going on here in the United States it would appear the foreign militaries have the market cornered on “holy crap” methods. For example, in the Ukraine they take live-fire drills to a whole new meaning.

Breach Bang Clear posted this video at the tail end of October and while it isn’t brand new it’s still interesting. It’s a bit like a car accident – you should probably look away but you just cannot bring yourself to do it. In this training exercise which apparently took place in the Ukraine soldiers run in front of a berm – sounds normal, right?  Not quite. While they run, with fairly small gaps between them, live rounds are fired. At them. In some drills the shots are fired in the gaps left-to-right while at other moments the shooter reverses direction midway. Small wonder the guys at Breach Bang Clear chose to title this one “Give Your Training Partner a Sucking Chest Wound.”

I admit I’ve heard some rather hair-raising stories from friends who have served in our nation’s armed forces, especially from the Grunts and SOF. I know there are more than a few military guys around here, both active duty and veterans, so I have to ask: what’s the most…let’s say, colorful…training exercise you’ve been involved in?

What do you guys think, is there any time where this kind of training is a good idea? Or could it possibly backfire in more ways than the most obvious one?

Some helpful soul came up with this link to a Ukrainian training/recruitment site of some sort: Take a look at Breach Bang Clear’s website at

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  • Riot

    1:02 is far too close for comfort.
    The angles wind up leaving almost no gap within seconds.

  • Spencerhut

    F’ that.

  • Darkpr0

    I don’t know if I’d qualify those as small gaps, and I sure as heck wouldn’t say that this is outright safe. But it’s as close as you’re going to get to having your soldiers shot at for real without doing it in anger. It would be very interesting to have the soldiers shoot patterns after this exercise. I suspect they would be slightly less clean than someone at a sterile shooting range.

    • Joshua

      Simunitions, its like being shot at but you don’t die when you get shot.

  • Joshua

    Simunitions fix this stupid thing. They’re pretty common here and allow force on force training than you can feel.

  • Lance

    Don’t want to trip on that course. See why the Ukrainian army doesn’t have a high recycle rate in basic as well.

    How did AKOU 47-74 get to train Ukrainian troops LOL!

  • Bill

    I bet there are more liability lawyers in Buttwallow Arkansas than the entire Ukraine, and I doubt Ukrainian mil members don’t have Senators and Representatives to whine to. I wouldn’t do it, but there are guys I trust with a rifle to miss me. It’s hard enough to hit a moving target, so deliberately missing should be a breeze. Should be.

    In all fairness, GoPro video always distorts distance, space and perspective.

    Simunitions or Airsoft actually lets you shoot each other though, so both parties get trained.

    That’s a weird pack, or a Camelback the size of a king-sized pillow.

  • Dan

    Their Country, their training. Not for me to judge.

    • George

      My country. F’ THAT CRAP

      • Dan

        ^His country, maybe his training? Leaving it up to him to judge

  • robert w

    I don’t see the point in this. The soldiers do not get a real sense of being shot at, they know that the instructors are trying to not kill them,

    • Ken

      They want them to know what the sonic crack of a bullet flying by sounds like. There are other ways to learn though that are safer, like overhead fire with an MG set on a fixed traverse or even working the target pits on a rifle range.

    • Dan

      Maybe have an oopsy daisy every third runner?

  • TabloMaxos

    They missed all the shots!

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Guys a terrible shot.

  • Bill

    It’s an out-take from “Stripes.” Lighten up, Franciskya

  • ShootCommEverywhere

    99% sure it’s done exclusively for the camera to make a psychological shock and awe video, and not a part of any actual training.

  • Carl Mumpower

    Train as you fight? These men are in a deadly struggle with a dangerous and ruthless enemy. There is more than simple madness here. Grateful we have the resources for safer and more sophisticated training. They don’t.

    • CommonSense23

      What does this teach them? They aren’t reacting to fire.

      • Kristoff

        The only thing this teaches them is how to flinch.

      • Carl Mumpower

        That the sound of gunfire is distinctive – that the fastest way through gunfire is to run fast without pause or constriction – that in training you have come as close to the real thing as is possible – that you have a courage button…

        • Bal256

          The best way to react to gunfire is to take cover, not run across open terrain like a suicidal conscript ala enemy at the gates. You can learn the sound of incoming gunfire without actually being shot at as well.

          • Carl Mumpower

            I defer to apparent wisdom, experience and tactical insight. But it is good to know that cover is always at hand and…well…lets just call it a day.

  • tony

    This year one security agent in Taiwan shot another in the neck doing close distance face to face live fire drills. Dude is paralyzed for life from neck down.

  • Bal256

    What, training to miss moving targets? Training to run across a large open area without any cover while getting shot at? Maybe a confidence booster so they can fearlessly zerg rush the enemy across a large open field while taking automatic fire?

    • Tassiebush

      Love the zerg reference!

  • Badwolf

    simunitions is good for skills. But for authentic “fear of death” training I have to concede nothing will beat this. Haha

  • Uniform223

    I get it they want to simulate the stress of combat but there is a more practical and safer way to do it. There is a reason why way back when before militaries had fire arms; their soldiers would train with wooden replicas of the weapons they would bring into battle. For example. In FMA (Eskrima, Kali, Arnis) the sticks actually used to be machetes and knives.

  • Zachary David Chaney

    Make sure those shooters wear their ears and eyes!! Wouldn’t want the loud pop or possible ricochet to cause any harm! ????

  • James Madison

    That’s right up there at the bat sh*t crazy level of the “Russian Confidence Drills” (youtube that one).

    What do they have in common? Too much vodka…

    • lapkonium

      Except in the Russian drill the guys are highly trained Alpha operatives, and in this one it’s just a bunch of wannabes. Both are near the border of craziness, albeit on different sides of it.

    • Realist


  • Evan

    This is madness. I see no possible training value and a HUGE potential for a catastrophic accident.

  • Tassiebush

    It’s pretty much inevitable that this will eventually result in accidental shootings if done for long enough. Doesn’t seem to include any kind of useful skill development either except perhaps being able to be shot at and not freeze or provide very close covering fire. Just as likely to lead to complacency about enemy fire though.

  • carango772

    i guess that is how storm troopers train

  • Realist

    Ummmm, okay….