Why Are Russian Soldiers In Crimea Armed With American-Style AR-15-Based Rifles?

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Armed Russian forces arrest Ukrainian army officers during an operation in Simferopol on March 18, 2014 (AFP Photo/Alisa Borovikova)

AFP Photographer Alisa Borovikova just posted a stunning photo of Russian troops arresting Ukrainian Army officers at gunpoint.

United States Navy Mark 12 Mod 0/1 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) (via Wikipedia)

United States Navy Mark 12 Mod 0/1 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) (via Wikipedia)

The stunning part of the photo is that the soldier looking in her direction is clearly armed with an American-style AR-15-based rifle set up to be similar to a Special Purpose Rifle, complete with variable-power scope with sunshade, bipod, 20-round magazine, and what appears to be a quick-detach suppressor.

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Why is a Russian soldier armed with an AR-15-style light sniper rifle that uses 5.56 NATO ammunition?

A U.S sniper looks through the scope of a Mk 12 Mod 1 Special Purpose Rifle. (Wikipedia)

A U.S sniper looks through the scope of a Mk 12 Mod 1 Special Purpose Rifle. (Wikipedia)

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I’d love to know the answer to that one myself.

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