the most famous sniper in Ukraine
‘Wali’, a Canadian sniper who has hit the news after travelling to Ukraine to fight the Russians, has made a media reappearance.
Dubbed the “best sniper on the planet”, Wali previously served in Canada’s armed forces, twice going on missions to Afghanistan.
At pains to hide his real name and exact location, he says he’s in Ukraine out of a commitment to “my community and to humanity.”
In March, Russian media sought a propaganda victory by claiming Wali had been killed in fighting in Mariupol.
But a week later, Wali debunked that report, telling CBC: “I pretty much was the last person to learn about my death.”
“There’s two things I know for sure: there’s a Russian invasion of Ukraine and people think I’m dead," he told The Record.
Now, speaking to El País, Wali has reiterated that he’s never been to Mariupol: “I was surprised by such a simple piece of fake news.”
He also played down claims about his sniping prowess. For example, he doesn’t hold the world record for long-range killing.
“I’m good with a rifle but that’s all,” Wali told El País. “The legend and the symbol are different from the person.”
Wali told CBC he “didn’t kill any Russians yet”, while El País says he “has not had his finger on the trigger very much.”
Instead, he has focused on surveillance. “The sniper is doing a lot of observation, reporting,” he explained to CBC.
Wali isn’t too worried about being a Russian target. “I don’t think they’ll spend that much energy on me,” he told El País.