Determined Shane Matthew came out of retirement to travel to Ukraine and has so far helped to train more than 500 Ukrainians, who are ‘fighting like the Taliban on steroids’ to resist Vladimr Putin’s bogged-down Russian invasion force.
Shane, who completed multiple tours of Afghanistan and Iraq as a Lance Corporal with the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment – Portsmouth’s local infantry unit, has been dodging artillery strikes to deliver tactical and medical training to Ukrainian volunteers.
Speaking to The News today from the bombed town of Irpin, just north of the Kyiv, the 34-year-old veteran from Chichester said: ‘The Russians moved a huge convoy into place last night for an attack, it was obliterated, according to intelligence here, it was the last combat-ready group in the area so we should see Ukrainian forces pushing them back to the border soon. All-round winning for the Ukrainians.’
Russian forces continue to ‘rain down’ artillery and missiles on Ukraine’s besieged cities 'indiscriminately’ as the war enters its third week.
Today The News can reveal harrowing footage of Shane as he dived for cover to avoid a barrage, which destroyed a building he had been sheltering in just hours before the strike.
The video recording shows Shane and a Ukrainian sprinting into a garage as large explosions can be heard ripping up the streets around him.
‘We’ve had to completely hunker down because the artillery is being walked in to us – we got showered with shrapnel when we went out to pick up some gear,’ he said, while smoking a cigarette and wearing a helmet.
As previously reported, Shane shared photos of the aftermath of the attack, which levelled a bridge and destroyed a church and school.
Despite the danger, Shane continues to deliver training to Ukrainian forces, showing volunteer fighters how to move tactically through the streets and treat major bleeds, burns and gunshot wounds.
He said: ‘I have trained 540 people in four days. It’s been exhausting, I actually managed to collapse yesterday and was confined to my bed by the doc due to not stopping.
‘The lads are amazing, they graft, they are keen to learn and they always ask loads of questions.’
In America, the US Congress gave Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky a standing ovation as he addressed them virtually today.
Pleading for more military aid and repeating his call for a Nato-enforced no-fly zone over the country, a stoic president Zelensky said: ‘I’m almost 45, today my age stopped when the hearts of 100 children stopped beating.
‘Today the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine, we are fighting to defend the values of Europe and the world.’
His speech came as the US Embassy in Kyiv tweeted out today claiming Russian forces shot and killed 10 people in the northern city of Chernihiv while they were waiting for bread.