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 the nickname given to him in Afghanistan, ‘Wali’, has previous combat experience from fighting in the Kandahar theatre during the Afghanistan War between 2009 and 2011.
The 40-year-old, who later took it upon himself to travel to Iraq in 2015 to help fight the Islamic State’s forces, said he answered the call like a firefighter responding to a blaze would do.
Reports suggest Wali was the member of the Royal Canadian 22nd who fatally shoot an Islamic State terrorist in 2017 from more than two miles away – a ‘world-record’ for the longest ever kill shot.
Wali said he was contacted by a friend on Friday who had been organising “neutral convoys” of humanitarian aid for several months to bring food to the occupied Donbas region.
Wali, who fought alongside the Kurds against ISIS in Syria, told French-Canadian publication La Presse: “He told me they needed a sniper. It’s like a firefighter who hears the alarm ringing. I had to go.”
He leaves behind his wife and baby son, who will celebrate his first birthday without him next week.
“I know, it’s just awful,” he said. “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.
“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.
His wife said she reluctantly allowed him to go.
“I knew that if I didn’t let him go, I would have broken him,” she said. “It would have been like putting him in jail.”
Wali, a computer programmer until last week, added: “A week ago I was still programming stuff,” he said. “Now I’m grabbing anti-tank missiles in a warehouse to kill real people.. That’s my reality now.”