Lesbian Power Couple: Top Sniper and Machine-Gunner Are Taking on Putin’s Army

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Handout
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Handout

“If I tell you the number of my confirmed kills, I’m putting a bounty on my head,” Olga, tells me with a grin and a twinkle in her eye. Her call sign is Cerberus, the mythical, multi-headed dog known as the “Hound of Hades.”

Olga is a sniper in the Ukrainian army where she “battles the hordes invading her homeland.”

The highly trained killer, who is also known as Ulster, asked for her surname to be withheld, for the safety of her family.

“I can tell you one thing. I was as calm as can be during my first kill. And I do not kill people, I kill enemies,” says this soon to be 24-year-old sniper. Olga is also openly gay, which is not easy in any military, and particularly not in Ukraine.

I have spoken, off- and on-record, to many gay, lesbian and queer Ukrainian military members. While it’s often glossed over, most of them have experienced some form of harassment, ranging from being teased, to being beaten or even gang-raped. What is particularly hard is that on the frontline your “brothers in arms” should have your back, no matter what, and there needs to be complete trust.

Olga says her comrades don’t care that she is openly gay.

“Personally, being a lesbian girl in the army is not difficult for me, I did not have a bad experience. My brothers treat me well. They know that at the right moment I will have their back as they have my back,” this veterinarian-turned-soldier told The Daily Beast. She raised her voice as she proclaimed: “I fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ people wherever I can. This is important to me!”

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Olga, who serves in the sniper platoon on the Kharkiv frontline, joined the army on Feb. 25, 2022, and was actively participating in hostilities a few weeks later.

“All of the battles and frontlines have been gruesome, grueling and a challenge. We live in squalor, it’s cold, we risk our lives. The fact that I am a female sniper gives me greater advantages and therefore I will say for myself that it is not difficult for me when it comes to my comrades. I have no problems with my colleagues and cannot allow myself to have any, we are fighting for the same goal—for Ukrainian victory,” says Olga, adding that “the war is impossible to forget, and most of all, the fallen comrades, those who cannot be brought back, remain in memory.” But she still wants to stay in the military even after the war.


Olga describes a very ‘G.I. Jane’ situation—“After serving as a sniper for 10 months, I was sent for two weeks’ training where I beat all my colleagues in the final competition. Three months later, I was sent to the same course again and I won it again, even though it was more difficult because I had had an operation to have a titanium plate placed in my leg, and I had only a month of rehabilitation behind me. The guys told the instructor that I have problems with my leg, and they asked him not to give me heavy loads, but I answered them that I am the same soldier as everyone else and I do not need indulgences or special treatment,” she said proudly.

In her free time Olga says she likes to hang out with her colleagues, grilling meat and trying to relax. She loves cats and always manages to have some around her, she even swears that they heal her when they lay on top of her and warm her back.

She saves up part of her income to spend on upgrading her gear.

“I use a semi-automatic SGD or Sniper Rifle Dragunov and PM pistol Makarov, and in the near future I will buy a bolt-action one in order to increase the distance to the enemy and increase the impact,” she said. Her girlfriend is also in the military. She doesn’t want to tell us what her partner does in civilian life but is not shy to talk about their relationship.

“I have lesbian friends in the military, and my girlfriend. She doesn’t like her photos to be shown, but she is a machine gunner by profession, and we have been together for over half a year,” Olga said. She also tells me that while she is vocal about her support to the LGBTQ community, she has never been to a Pride March.


“I’ve just been too busy. I want us to be given the rights we deserve, to live freely like the rest of the population of Ukraine. I want to be able to marry my partner some day and become a mother, especially since I do not have a mother. But not before the end of the war.”

I ask her what it is like to live never fully knowing will you see tomorrow, surrounded by death.


“Fortunately, I have not yet needed rescue, as in any task, first of all, you need to think about how to minimize the threat to your life. Personally, a day on the front line is a normal thing for me, I’m so used to shots and loud bangs that they are not annoying, and one might even say they are calming to us by now, especially when we pile up the Russians. The task of the day is given by the management, and I like to work alone,” she said calmly, almost in a detached way.

Her goals in life, I ask.

Having a family, staying in the military, marriage. Oh, and yes, “showing those Wagner monsters that they do not belong here and teaching them a lesson they will never forget,” Olga said.

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