Ukraine war: Veteran British sniper survives first night on front lines of Kyiv to deliver medical training to Ukrainian defence forces

A VETERAN British Army sniper has survived his first night on the front lines of the under-siege Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, which he says has been ‘absolutely smashed’ by invading Russian forces.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 11th March 2022, 4:26 pm

Shane Matthew spent his first evening in the war-torn city, which has been under relentless artillery, air and missile attack.

The 34-year-old soldier, from Chichester, is supporting the Ukrainian resistance by providing medical and tactical training to hastily-put-together defence forces made up of civilians.

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Shane Matthew, 34, of Chichester has arrived on the front line in Kyiv, Ukraine, to help train defence forces.

Yesterday the former combat medic, who was part of 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment – Portsmouth’s local infantry unit, visited the front lines in the north west districts of Kyiv.

Corresponding with The News from an undisclosed location within the city, the ex-soldier said: ‘There’s a massive amount of artillery firing constantly, day and night, which is absolutely horrendous.

‘The city is absolutely smashed. It’s been pounded. It’s not nice.

‘The city has taken a hammering. It’s civilian targets that are being hit. It’s not military targets.

Shane Matthew pictured showing Ukrainian defence forces how to apply a bandage during a training session in Kyiv.

The [the Russian forces] are indiscriminately shelling the city with no regard to anyone.

‘It is war crimes, out and out. It’s just reinforcing my perspective on why I am here.’

Shane, who made his way across the country by ‘thumbing lifts’ with a Ukrainian friend, has already started giving medical training to resistance fighters.

Among the basic set of skills he has been teaching includes how to stem heavy bleeding, treating gunshot wounds and applying bandages and tourniquets.

Among the basic set of skills he has been teaching includes how to stem heavy bleeding, treating gunshot wounds and applying bandages and tourniquets.

He will also be providing tactical infantry skills to the volunteer forces and added that many of those Ukrainians joining the fight were brave but unskilled.

‘They are all civilians, every one of them,’ he said. ‘Most of them have never touched a gun in their lives.

‘They don’t have any tactical capability or medical knowledge. So we’re doing medical training and then tactical training tomorrow before they’re shipped out.’

Alongside the training, Shane also brought about 60kg of medical supplies for front line troops.

More supplies are expected to be donated soon.

Shane added: ‘I’m absolutely fine here at the moment. I’m in my element, if I’m honest.

‘All in, I’m glad I’ve done it. It’s definitely been worth it.’

On Thursday a number of former soldiers, including a retired paratrooper from Portsmouth, were preparing to head out to Ukraine to provide training and aid to the Ukrainian military.

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