Sniper arrives in Ukraine after answering call for foreign fighters

‘It’s like a firefighter who hears the alarm ringing’: One of the ‘world’s deadliest snipers’ who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq arrives in Ukraine from Canada after answering Zelensky’s plea for foreign fighters

  • Marksman known as ‘Wali’, 40, leaves behind a wife and baby son to join the war 
  • He had served in the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan 
  • ‘Wali’ has travelled more than 4,800 miles to help repel the Russian invaders 
  • Over 20,000 volunteers from international armed forces said to have signed up

One of the world’s most fearsome snipers is set to join the fighting in Ukraine after answering President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for foreign volunteers to help defeat Russian invaders.

The marksman, known only by his nickname ‘Wali’, hails from the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment and has previous combat experience from fighting in the Kandahar theatre during the Afghanistan War between 2009 and 2011. 

The 40-year-old later took it upon himself to travel to Iraq in 2015 to help fight the Islamic State’s forces.

In June 2017, one of his comrades reportedly shot dead an Islamic State terrorist from an incredible distance of 3,450m – more than two miles away. 

It has been widely reported that a member of the Royal Canadian 22nd used a McMillan Tac-50 rifle to fatally shoot an Islamic State terrorist in 2017 from more than two miles away – a ‘world-record’ for the longest ever kill shot. 

On Saturday, Ukraine’s defiant president Volodymyr Zelensky put out a plea and appealed for members of the international armed forces community to fly to Eastern Europe and join the war effort. 

‘Wali’, who left behind his wife and one-year-old son, was contacted by a friend who has been helping to arrange ‘neutral humanitarian aid convoys’ into the occupied Donbas region in the south east of Ukraine. 

He described the moment he answered the call to join the Ukrainian volunteer forces as being ‘like a firefighter who hears the alarm ringing’. 

A 40-year-old Canadian sniper known only as ‘Wali’ (above) is set to join the fighting in Ukraine after answering President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for foreign volunteers to help defeat Russian invaders

The marksman, known only by his nickname ‘Wali’, hails from the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment and has previous combat experience from fighting in the Kandahar theatre during the Afghanistan War between 2009 and 2011. Pictured above in Afghanistan in 2009

Just last week, ‘Wali’ was still working as a computer programmer in Canada. 

Now, he’s preparing to fight Russian troops from a remote location in Ukraine more than 4,800 miles away.

‘A week ago I was still programming stuff. Now I’m grabbing anti-tank missiles in a warehouse to kill people… That’s my reality right now,’ he told CBC News. 

More than 20,000 people from 52 countries have already volunteered to repel the Russian invaders in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said over the weekend. 

‘Wali’ leaves behind his wife and baby son, who will celebrate his first birthday without him next week. 

The trained sniper has left behind a young family, including his baby son who will celebrate his first birthday – without his father – next week.

He said: ‘I know it’s just awful, but me, in my head, when I see images of destruction in Ukraine, it is my son that I see, in danger and who is suffering.

His wife, whose identity has been protected for security reasons, said she reluctantly allowed him to leave and that keeping him home would have been ‘like putting him in jail’. 

The Canadian sniper had to fight his way past the tens of thousands of fleeing Ukrainian refugees after crossing the border through Poland. 

On Saturday, Ukraine’s defiant president Volodymyr Zelensky put out a plea and appealed for members of the international armed forces community to fly to Eastern Europe and join the war effort. Pictured: A sniper is pictured in the Zaproizhzia region, Ukraine on February 18

More than 20,000 people from 52 countries have already volunteered to repel the Russian invaders in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion. Pictured, members of Ukraine’s international legion, where volunteers from the US, UK, Sweden, Lithuania and Mexico have joined

Pictured, volunteers from Portugal and Brazil in Ukraine army fatigues in the days following Putin’s invasion

‘Wali’ was met with hugs and handshakes by the local population after arriving into Ukraine alongside three fellow former Canadian soldiers on Friday, March 4.

But wandering deeper into the heart of Ukraine, and witnessing the destruction wrought by Russian invaders and artillery barrages, ‘Wali’ said he felt compelled to act. 

He told CBC News: ‘I want to help them. It’s as simple as that. 

‘When I see a destroyed building, it is the person who owns it, who sees his pension fund go up in smoke, that I see.

‘I have to help because there are people here being bombarded just because they want to be European and not Russian.

‘I’m going there for humanitarian reasons,’ he added. 

The group of volunteers veterans are currently sheltered in an abandoned home and plan to link up with the Ukrainian defence forces soon. 

Ukraine has plans to field a reserve unit of around 10,000 trained officers and more than 120,000 volunteers to repel the Russian invaders.  

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