Putin shows off Kalashnikov sniper rifle skills, achieves three successful 'kill shots' from nearly 2,000 feet
Vladimir Putin, 65, took aim at targets at a distance of 2,000 feet using Kalashnikov-designed Chukavin sniper rifle at military-themed Patriot Park in Moscow
This is the moment Russian President Vladimir Putin showed off his marksmanship as he tested a new Kalashnikov sniper rifle in a video that went viral on social media. As the Kremlin heavyweight took to the ranges on Wednesday at the military-themed Patriot Park in Moscow, he hit the head, liver, and abdomen of a target from a distance of 1,968 feet.
Using the Kalashnikov-designed Chukavin sniper rifle known as the SVCh-308, the president was able to shoot three of his five shots accurately enough to kill a target. However, the other two shots missed the target. The manufacturers are seeing the new design a potential successor to the legendary Dragunov sniper rifle.
In the video, Putin is seen sitting at a desk at a Patriot Park firing range in his suit and tie while shooting targets and showing off his sniper skills. The Russian strongman was seen wearing goggles and earphones, crouching as he fired the brand-new firearm.
He was shown by the Rossiya 24 television channel pressing the trigger while holding his breath and shooting between heartbeats, just as professional snipers are instructed to do.
"The target is set up practically at the maximum distance," the outlet reported. The station also said that he "shot five times and hit the target more than half the time."
The semi-automatic weapon fired by Putin is apparently "an ultra-modern rifle for Russian snipers", according to Russian defense ministry channel TV Zvezda, NDTV reports.
At the time of the practice session, the former KGB officer was visiting Patriot Park in order to lay a foundation stone for a Russian Orthodox Church.
Putin recently slammed Britain over claims that he engineered the poisoning of Russian spies in the Salisbury nerve agent incident.
That being said, his spokesman also refuted claims that Putin secretly ordered the assassination of a part-time model with rat poison in a restaurant in Salisbury. The alleged victim of the attack, Anna Shapiro, claimed that she was "targeted by Putin's henchmen."
"They want me dead as I oppose Putin and have turned my back on my country," she added.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, responded to journalists, saying, "I don't think there is any sense in commenting on such reports. The absurdity of the most part of information coming from Salisbury is evident."
Kalashnikov Concern, which constructed the new sniper rifle, was created with the merger of two Soviet-era plants – Izhmash and Izhevsk Mechanical Plant in 2013.
Last month, Kalashnikov took enthusiasts and observers by surprise as they unveiled the prototype for a new retro-styled electric car. The company first built its reputation after creating the iconic AK-47 assault rifle.