Russia has set up special sharpshooter/sniper units in its ground forces brigades, Defence Ministry spokesman lieutenant colonel Sergey Vlasov said.

RIA Novsti quoted the spokesman as saying: "We are establishing a phased, multi-tiered system for selecting and training candidates, to teach them how to work as part of a unit and independently. All snipers will have special training once every three or four years."

The sniper units will be equipped with a number of different rifles with different characteristics, including special target acquisition equipment portable lasers, binoculars and devices for computing ballistics data.