Known to the public simply by his nickname, Wali, a former Royal 22nd Regiment Canadian sniper has answered the call to volunteer and defend Ukraine from Russian invaders.
According to an interview with La Presse, the 40-year-old Montreal native has been in eastern Europe since early March, leaving behind his wife and his baby, who will celebrate his first birthday without him next week.
“I know, it’s just terrible. 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” he told the Quebec newspaper. “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.”
- You might also like:
- Opinion: We should cancel Russia — not Russians
- Ukrainian cultural assets, historical sites that have been destroyed by Russian forces
- "Typical day in a bomb shelter": TikToker shows what life is like in Ukraine during the war (VIDEOS)
Now, the soldier who fought against the Islamic State in both Afghanistan and Kurdistan is sharing part of his journey on his official Facebook page, The Torch and Sword. Photos of him in Ukraine are often accompanied by journal-like entries.
“Ukrainians are tough on invaders, but welcoming with those who came to help them,” he writes. “It’s hard not to love a people who just want to be free!”
Another one of his posts reveals the soldier’s deep admiration for the courage of Ukrainians, many of whom have decided to stay and fight.
“Ukraine will go down in history as a nation of warriors,” he writes.
Out of the top five longest confirmed kills in history, three of them were made by Canadian snipers. One of these was completed by one of Wali’s comrades, who reportedly killed an Islamic State terrorist from a distance of over 3,000 metres.
View this post on Instagram