I’m an ex-Army sniper and I’m going to Ukraine to fight Putin… he’s like Hitler storming across Europe again

AN EX-British Army sniper is travelling to fight against Russian forces in Ukraine after he compared Putin's invasion to Hitler.

Retired soldier Shane Matthews, 34, said he can no longer sit by and watch invading Russians "steam-roll" through democratic Ukraine.

The Chichester-based fighter plans to leave on Monday alongside two Ukrainians to join the Foreign Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.

The group was formed on Sunday by President Volodomyr Zelenskyy who urged foreigners to come to the aid of his country.

Speaking to The Portsmouth News, Shane, who served multiple tours of Afghanistan, said: "If you can fight it's your duty to fight.

"You’re looking at modern day Hitler steam-rolling across Ukraine."

He said he was driven to fight because nobody seems to be trying to stop Russia devastating an entire nation in Europe.

Shane, who also saw combat as a private military contractor in Iraq, branded Russia's invasion as "disgusting" and "beyond reprehensible".

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The veteran of the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment insisted he will primarily be in Ukraine to "provide medical support and training where possible".

You’re looking at modern day Hitler steam-rolling across Ukraine

He aims to travel to Poland then onto Ukraine to meet a Ukrainian Colonel who has agreed to 'arm him' and 21 others.

Shane will then move on to the under-siege capital Kyiv with 60kg of donated medical supplies.

But he warned: "If it requires combat, I will be armed."

But the ex-sniper will be defying stern warnings from the British Army, who on Tuesday will will urge soldiers not to travel to Ukraine to take up arms.

Army chiefs worry rogue Brits on the ground could risk triggering a massive escalation in the conflict.

In a daily message to every soldier, seen by The Telegraph, Sir Chris Tickell, the second in command of the army, will say: "There has been some recent media coverage relating to foreigners being welcomed into Ukraine to help fight against Russia.

"To be clear, as members of the British Army, you are not authorised to travel to Ukraine to support the ongoing conflict against Russia in any form."


It follows a backlash after Foreign Secretary Liz Trust said she "absolutely" supported British nationals fighting against the Russian invasion.

Shane said it Ms Truss's words that prompted him to make his decision.

As of Monday evening, the ex-sniper is just one of a reported 60 Brit volunteers believed to be heading out to Ukraine to battle Putin's forces.

Speaking to Daily Mail on Monday, Scotsman Gary Bonini, who spent 12 years in the British Army, said he was joining the fight.

Gary, 30 – who served two tours of Afghanistan – said: "I've seen what is happening in Ukraine with all the shelling and carpet bombing, then I heard their president asking for help.

"It sparked a fire in me to do something to help their fight.

"How can you not feel passionate when you watch these people take up arms to defend their country?

"Russia has absolutely no right to invade."

Gary added how he has been on holiday to Ukraine and loves the country and its people, so the fight "feels personal".

Pal Jo Stirling, 28, from Edinburgh, was on the holiday with Gary, he is also going to Ukraine.

Jo served a stint in Iraq which he said "was boring since nothing really happened".

Mr Stirling – who served alongside Gary for six-years in the Royal Regiment – added how he likes "getting into a scrap".

Fears are now mounting as a massive convoy of soldiers and artillery believed to be a whopping 40-miles long has been seen heading to Kyiv.

It follows days of heavy shelling in Ukraine's capital Kyiv and second largest city Karkhiv, where experts fear war crimes may have been committed.

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