An elite Canadian sniper, nicknamed ‘Wali’, has arrived in Ukraine and vowed to fight the Russians as a volunteer fighter.
Wali, a former member of the elite Royal 22e Regiment of Canada, had earlier travelled to Iraq on his own to fight against ISIS in 2015, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
He was also deployed twice to Afghanistan as a sniper with the Canadian Armed Forces between 2009 and 2011. He fought in the same Canadian unit as the sniper with the world’s longest confirmed kill, of 3.5 km.
Wali has now left his home – leaving behind a wife and young son – in Canada to fight in Ukraine as a volunteer.
“I want to help them. It’s as simple as that. I have to help because there are people here being bombarded just because they want to be European and not Russian,” Wali said in a recent interview with the CBC.
Wali said he was warmly greeted by Ukrainians.
One of the world’s best snipers has arrived in Ukraine.
The French-Canadian “Wali” from the Royal Canadian 22e Régiment made his reputation during tours in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq
He fought in the same Canadian unit as the sniper with the world’s longest kill (3.5 km)
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) March 8, 2022
“They were so happy to have us,” Wali said. “It’s like we were friends right away. A week ago, I was still programming stuff. Now I’m grabbing anti-tank missiles in a warehouse to kill real people. … That’s my reality right now,” he said.
Having arrived in Ukraine, he said the hardest part was to leave his wife and son behind, who will celebrate his first birthday without him.
“I know, it’s just awful. But me, in my head, when I see the images of destruction in Ukraine, it is my son that I see, in danger and who is suffering,” he told The Sun.
“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 go there for humanitarian reasons,” he added.
Wali told CBC three other former Canadian soldiers had also made the journey with him the journey with him
He travelled from Poland, going against a sea of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees travelling the opposite way.
Since crossing into Ukraine, he and other veterans have taken shelter in an abandoned home, ahead of linking up with Ukrainian authorities.