(NewsNation) — As millions fled war-torn Ukraine, one of the world’s deadliest snipers went the opposite direction, traveling to the Eastern European country to fight the Russians.
According to media reports in Canada, an elite Canadian sniper known only as “Wali” earned his reputation as of the world’s deadliest marksmen in Afghanistan while fighting ISIS. Now, he’ll be battling Putin’s army.
Since the Russians invaded nearly two weeks ago, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has called on the world to help in the fight, rallying his own citizens, and foreigners with military experience, to take up arms in Ukraine’s defense.
The plea appears to be working as Ukrainian forces continue to slow the Russian advance.
U.S. Army veteran James Carafano said it’s likely the Russians intended to take out the Ukrainian government quickly and immediately occupy the land. Since that didn’t happen, Putin’s army has switched its approach.
“The initial Russian invasion plan has clearly failed and clearly the Russians are now making this up as they go along and their strategy looks to just win by brute force,” Carafano said.
Carafano expects Wali’s skills to be utilized in the Ukrainian cityscape, targeting Russian forces unexpectedly, under the cover of buildings with plenty of places to hide. That strategy could prove effective against a Russian army that is unfamiliar with the territory.
“If you’re Russian, you haven’t been to these cities, you don’t know your way around. You’re lost, you’re confused, it’s noisy. The snipers can be incredibly effective, particularly if they know the ground and can pick their terrain,” Carafano said.
He added that someone like Wali is capable of boosting morale, even if his participation alone isn’t sufficient to turn the tide of the war.
“If the quality of the opposing army is low, which increasingly it seems like it is true for the Russian ground forces, it is a more fair fight,” Carafano said.
Canadian reports say Wali is a computer programmer and former Canadian soldier who felt compelled to help Zelenskyy in this fight. He even left his wife and child to do so.
Wali joins a growing contingent of volunteer soldiers traveling from North America to support the Ukrainian defense.
U.S. Army veteran Cody Heard has also joined the fight against the Russians. He reached out to fellow veterans on social media and gathered a group together to make the long flight to fight for Ukraine.
Cody’s initial plan is to stay in Ukraine for a month. Depending on his ability to provide for his family back home, he may stay longer.