By Tribune News Service – Arab News
A British Army veteran fighting for Ukraine has been nicknamed “Rambo” by his comrades after surviving being shot several times, and dragging himself out of a trench to safety, the Metro reported.
Shareef Amin, an Afghanistan veteran who served nine years in the 1st Battalion, The Rifles, said he went to Ukraine almost immediately after the war began in February and initially provided humanitarian aid.
However, as the fighting intensified, he began using the skills and experience in the British military to train Ukrainians before eventually enlisting as a soldier.
In October, Amin and his unit were targeted by intense artillery fire after being spotted by the Russians, the Metro reported.
The attack left him with bullet wounds, lung punctures, and shrapnel nested in all four limbs.
“I shouldn’t be alive. I was in a shallow trench with my friend, a Ukrainian we called Professor, as the rounds just kept coming,” Amin told the Metro.
“Next thing I hear this almighty thud. It felt like someone had dragged me underground. I just saw red.”
“Professor’s body just went limp. He landed on top of me. At that point I knew I’d been hit. I thought, ‘I’m dead here. This is where I die.’ So I accepted it.”
Trapped, Amin recalled shouting to another comrade, Oleh Shumov, to see if he was still alive and told him that he could not get out.
He told the Metro how, despite the fact that he was still under fire, Shumov jumped out of his trench, grabbed Professor by the helmet, and dragged his body away.
It was then that Amin realized the extent of his own injuries.
“I pushed myself up and felt almighty agony through my lungs, through my arm. I looked down and my hand was hanging off,” he told the Metro.
“I don’t know how I got the strength to pull myself out of that ditch but I did. As I did, I sort of rolled into a front crawl and saw this huge piece of shrapnel sticking out of my leg. It was like a tin can.”
Amin and Shumov were soon rescued by Kozak Warrior armored personnel vehicles and driven to waiting ambulances before being taken to the hospital.
With both lungs punctured and limbs broken, surgeons removed three pieces of shrapnel, which now lie beside his hospital bed in a jar.
Despite his extensive injuries, Amin has defied medical odds and is already walking again. However, he has lost most of the feeling in his right hand and foot.
His nickname is a reference to Sylvester Stallone’s film character John Rambo, who survives overwhelming odds in battle on numerous occasions.
Friends are crowdfunding to return Amin, who is originally from Bristol, to the UK with his Ukrainian fiancée Helen Vitvickaja and her 10-year-old son.
The soldier, who has since been awarded a Ukrainian bravery medal, said he has no regrets about his decision to fight.
“If I sat at home despite having skills that can help, what kind of human being am I?”
(c) 2022 the Arab News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Source: American Military News