You have to look at today’s Pic of the Day kind of carefully to see everything that is going on. In the photo, we see two snipers belonging to the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces, the SSO. One is located in the top center of the frame, and one is in the bottom center of the photo. He is easier to see because of the Ukrainian flag on his back.

Take note that both of these snipers are using thermal masking to hide their heat signatures from the enemy. The upper guy seems to be utilizing some kind of foam, and the guy below looks like he has one of those reflective mylar blankets. This is likely a hasty firing position and if someone has to take a shot they probably won’t be remaining there much longer.

Who are the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces?

Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces (Сили спеціальних операцій Збройних сил України abbreviated SSO or sometimes CCO), a true force to be reckoned with. Headquartered in the heart of Kyiv, these men are the crème de la crème, specially trained to handle some of the most challenging missions out there. Whether it’s executing high-stakes operations in contested territories like Crimea, which, let’s not forget, Moscow decided to snag in 2014, these operatives are often on the frontlines, showcasing their strategic prowess.

Now, let’s talk numbers because the SSO isn’t just a handful of commandos. As of 2021, we’re looking at a robust team of over 4,000 Spetsnaz (meaning “special purpose”) operatives.

Actions in Avdiivka

The Ukrainian Special Operations Forces (SSO) have played a significant role in the defense of Avdiivka, demonstrating precision, efficiency, and resilience in the face of aggression. Notably, SSO snipers, operating near Avdiivka, managed to eliminate 12 Russian invaders within an hour, showcasing their skill at distances ranging from 920 to 1170 meters. This operation was a clear testament to the SSO’s capability to neutralize threats under high-pressure conditions.

In addition to sniper operations, Ukrainian forces, including the SSO, have been instrumental in repelling attacks and inflicting significant losses on opposing forces near Avdiivka. They successfully eliminated nearly 500 Russian soldiers and captured one, highlighting a broader strategy that included air strikes, clashes, and artillery bombardments. This concerted effort has been crucial in holding the defense lines and demonstrating the high cost to the aggressor for their offensive operations.

Furthermore, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that over a single day, Ukrainian troops repelled more than 20 Russian attacks on the Avdiivka front. This included repelling attacks near Novobakhmutivka and Avdiivka, as well as around Pervomaiske and Nevelske in the Donetsk Oblast, illustrating a continuous effort to prevent the encirclement of Avdiivka and maintain control over strategic positions.

These actions by the Ukrainian SSO and broader defense forces underscore their pivotal role in defending Avdiivka against ongoing assaults, demonstrating both the high level of preparedness and the strategic effectiveness of Ukraine’s military response in the region.