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Lyudmila Pavlichenko: Ukranian Sniper


This week’s badass woman of history is one of histories most deadliest snipers, Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko, aka Lady Death.

After an attack on her beloved university in Kiev, Ukraine, Maj Pavlichenko approached recruiters with her civilian expert shooting certificates and asked to join the infantry.

“She looked like a model, with well-manicured nails, fashionable clothes, and hairstyle. Pavlichenko told the recruiter that she wanted to carry a rifle and fight. The man just laughed and asked her if she knew anything about rifles,” wrote of Pavlichenko’s effort to join the military.


Pavlichenko persisted and after a short training pipeline, was sent to the front lines to defend her nation, killing 187 Germans in her first 75 day of war.  She sustained many injuries during her service, the final injury, a mortar explosion to her face, took her permanently off of the battlefield and into a training and political role.

Maj Pavlichenko was a badass from birth, competing and winning in anything she put her mind to.  When visiting the United States, and after being asked too many ridiculous question about her femininity and how it fit into battle she responded finally “Gentlemen, I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist invaders by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?”


“I am amazed at the kind of questions put to me by the women press correspondents in Washington. Don’t they know there is a war? They asked me silly questions such as do I use powder and rouge and nail polish and do I curl my hair? One reporter even criticized the length of the skirt of my uniform, saying that in America women wear shorter skirts and besides my uniform made me look fat…This made me angry. I wear my uniform with honor. It has the Order of Lenin on it. It has been covered with blood in battle. It is plain to see that with American women what is important is whether they wear silk underwear under their uniforms. What the uniform stands for, they have yet to learn.”

Maj Pavlichenko had the warrior spirit.  Whether spending days in bristle bushes waiting for a German Sniper to move or falling 12 feet out of a tree and feigning death for a day to avoid being killed, Pavlichenko was determined to stop the German advance. ““Every German who remains alive will kill women, children and old folks,” she said. “Dead Germans are harmless. Therefore, if I kill a German, I am saving lives.”

Being a great killer or soldier has nothing to do with gender- it is purely mindset and training.


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