Liudmyla Mykhailivna Pavlychenko (1916 – 1974) was a Ukrainian Soviet sniper during World War 2. She signed up for the army when she was a 25-year-old history student from Kiev. As a youth Pavlychenko trained with a paramilitary sporting organization that taught weapons skills and etiquette. Here she became a highly accomplished civilian sharpshooter, so it would seem only natural she wanted to be a sniper. The recruitment officers, however, had trouble assigning a woman, but after she demonstrated her extraordinary skill, the Red Army admitted her. She was one of 2000 female snipers and her confirmed kill score of 309 puts her is top five snipers of all time.
After the war, Pavlychenko went back to Kiev University to finish her master’s degree.