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One of the world’s deadliest snipers has joined the fighting in Ukraine armed with his rifle in one hand and a camera in the other, and he has begun documenting his latest mission online, calling war ‘a waste of human mess.’

Wali, 40, is a former sniper with the Canadian Forces and recently answered President Volodymyr Zelensky‘s call for foreign volunteers to help defeat Russian invaders.

The sniper-turned-filmmaker from Montreal uses the name given to him by the Afghan people while on one of two tours of duty with the Canadian Royal 22nd Regiment, so as not to be identified. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq during the 2010s.

While his name remains a mystery, Wali is becoming a familiar face on the ground and is keeping an online diary of his experiences in Ukraine. Over the last 10 days, he has told of the warm welcome he received from Ukrainians grateful for the help to defend their country.

But his online musings also details the stresses and strains being placed upon the country, with air raid sirens a near constant reminder that nothing is normal any longer. 

Wali tells how he has been able to enjoy food made for him by locals, but that he has also been subjected to searches by the Ukrainian police and soldiers who at first can be wary of his volunteer group’s presence. 

He also describes the ingenuity with how some Ukrainians have reacted to the presence of the Russian military, with one farmer managing to tow away tanks when soldiers went on a break, while those living in a city apartment block were able to trap soldiers in a building elevator by cutting off the power. 

Wali also describes how signs of life from before the invasion have disappeared with day-to-day stores such as IKEA, Starbucks and McDonald’s closed – instead, with makeshift barricades erected outside as cities prepare for Russian invaders. 

Before arriving in the country, Wali says he made a plea for more fighters to join him. 

Wali served in the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now in Ukraine

Wali served in the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now in Ukraine

Wali served in the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now in Ukraine

Wali has taken up arms in several conflicts both with and without the Canadian army - he is now part of a band of volunteers who have taken up arms inside Ukraine

Wali has taken up arms in several conflicts both with and without the Canadian army - he is now part of a band of volunteers who have taken up arms inside Ukraine

Wali has taken up arms in several conflicts both with and without the Canadian army – he is now part of a band of volunteers who have taken up arms inside Ukraine

'The border was a surreal experience, even for a former Canadian soldier used to the unpredictability of war in the sun-scorched grape fields of Kandahar,' Wali details in his diary

'The border was a surreal experience, even for a former Canadian soldier used to the unpredictability of war in the sun-scorched grape fields of Kandahar,' Wali details in his diary

‘The border was a surreal experience, even for a former Canadian soldier used to the unpredictability of war in the sun-scorched grape fields of Kandahar,’ Wali details in his diary

'Wali' (pictured furthest right) was met with hugs and handshakes by the local population after arriving into Ukraine alongside three fellow former Canadian soldiers on Friday, March 4

'Wali' (pictured furthest right) was met with hugs and handshakes by the local population after arriving into Ukraine alongside three fellow former Canadian soldiers on Friday, March 4

‘Wali’ (pictured furthest right) was met with hugs and handshakes by the local population after arriving into Ukraine alongside three fellow former Canadian soldiers on Friday, March 4

February 27, 2022 – (3 days after the start of Russian invasion)

‘A real mobilization is organized in this conflict for the independence of the Ukrainian people. We are terribly short of time and need to literally stack up soldiers on the front line ASAP. If you are thirsty to defend freedom, the real one, take a flight to Poland. Preferably landing in Krakow. Back on site, find an Airbnb or anywhere else to spend the night. Impromptu! Sleep in the street if necessary, like in a trench!’ Wali wrote, encouraging others who wised to do so to take up arms. 

‘Once in Poland, get in touch with me or other veterans to learn how to cross a war zone. Be a clumsy one. If you can’t find anyone to educate you, approach the Ukrainian border, walk if necessary. Back there, ask the convoys passing through to let you board.

‘There are already convoys of arms and volunteers heading to the front, ready to face the Russian tank columns.

‘Stop being passive aggressive. Run it up! We have no time to waste.’     

‘Wali’, who left behind his wife and one-year-old son, was contacted by a friend who has been helping to arrange ‘neutral humanitarian aid convoys’ into the occupied Donbas region in the south east region of the country. 

He described the moment he answered the call to join the Ukrainian volunteer forces as being ‘like a firefighter who hears the alarm ringing’. 

Wali told what motivated him to join groups of foreign fighters taking up arms in Ukraine

Wali told what motivated him to join groups of foreign fighters taking up arms in Ukraine

Wali told what motivated him to join groups of foreign fighters taking up arms in Ukraine

March 1, 2022  

Wali documented in detail of the day he prepared to cross the border from neighboring Poland into Ukraine. 

‘I am with a comrade right now and we are going to enter Ukraine. To give you an idea of the atmosphere… today we went to fill jerry cans with gas to make Molotov cocktails, because that’s what civilians want to attack Russians. On my way I passed a brand new Ikea. Surreal!

‘Meanwhile, my comrade is being called by his wife, a Ukrainian. She and her daughter are hiding in a shelter. You can hear shells falling and windows vibrating from the speakerphone,’ Wali wrote.  

‘In our vehicle, moving bags and military gear, I discovered a pink doggie. This is a gift for my comrade’s daughter who hears Russian shells falling.’

Last week, ‘Wali’ was still working as a computer programmer in Canada – now he’s preparing to fight Russian troops.

‘A week ago I was still programming stuff. Now I’m grabbing anti-tank missiles in a warehouse to kill people… That’s my reality right now,’ he told CBC News.  

Last week, in the dead of night, he finally crossed the border.  

The border was a surreal experience, even for a former Canadian soldier used to the unpredictability of war in the sun-scorched grape fields of Kandahar. 

Wali said he and the three other former Canadian soldiers who made the journey with him were greeted with hugs, handshakes, flags and photos by Ukrainians after they crossed the frontier.  

Wali is pictured during the fight against ISIS in July 2012

Wali is pictured during the fight against ISIS in July 2012

Wali is pictured during the fight against ISIS in July 2012

Wali detailed his experience crossing the border from Poland into Ukraine

Wali detailed his experience crossing the border from Poland into Ukraine

Wali detailed his experience crossing the border from Poland into Ukraine

On his first night in Ukraine, he was able to stay in a comfortable AirBnb

On his first night in Ukraine, he was able to stay in a comfortable AirBnb

On his first night in Ukraine, he was able to stay in a comfortable AirBnb

March 2, 2022

Almost one week into the invasion, Wali described how there was a very positive mood among Ukrainians and describes how a farmer took matters into his own hands.

‘A heroic atmosphere reigns here. We no longer count the stories of fighters and ordinary people defying the Russian Army. In one example, a farmer waited for the Russians to disembark their tanks during a break. He then towed the tanks with his tractor! Imagine that!’

Wali also described hearing from other soldiers also fighting in the field. 

‘As we approach the front we gather field information. Soon, we called a Ukrainian soldier we know. He just got called up to defend his village. This soldier is experienced and has already been guarded by the body of the Ukrainian president, but the village didn’t have many guns. So he was assigned to a checkpoint surrounded by forests. The forest is filled with infiltrated enemy fighters who are preparing for the arrival of the Russians.

‘Ukrainians will go down in history as a people of warriors!’

Wandering deeper into the heart of Ukraine, and witnessing the destruction wrought by Russian invaders and artillery barrages, Wali said he felt compelled to act. 

He told CBC News: ‘I want to help them. It’s as simple as that. 

‘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 have to help because there are people here being bombarded just because they want to be European and not Russian. I’m going there for humanitarian reasons.’ 

The group of volunteers veterans are currently sheltered in an abandoned home and plan to link up with the Ukrainian defense forces soon. 

Wali tells how Ukrainians are coming up with their own crafty ways to defeat the Russians

Wali tells how Ukrainians are coming up with their own crafty ways to defeat the Russians

Wali tells how Ukrainians are coming up with their own crafty ways to defeat the Russians 

Wale tells how the forests of Ukraine are full of fighters waiting for the Russians to arrive

Wale tells how the forests of Ukraine are full of fighters waiting for the Russians to arrive

Wale tells how the forests of Ukraine are full of fighters waiting for the Russians to arrive

March 3, 2022

One week on from the start of the invasion, Wali described how he saw Russian war planes flying overhead. 

His British friends took out their phones and ‘filmed the enemy jets like tourists from a big window.’ 

‘We are currently on Ukrainian soil. Crossing the borders of a war country has caused us a few little unexpected things. But we were prepared because we are the first to ‘cross the road’ volunteers.

He told how he was with three other Canadians and some British fighters who put their protective gear on as soon as they crossed the border.

‘I felt like I was getting ready for landing Normandy with some ‘mates”, he joked.

Walie is with three fellow Quebecers and a 'large number of Brits'

Walie is with three fellow Quebecers and a 'large number of Brits'

Walie is with three fellow Quebecers and a ‘large number of Brits’

Wali says during at one point, the Brits are like tourists taking their phone our to video Russian planes

Wali says during at one point, the Brits are like tourists taking their phone our to video Russian planes

Wali says during at one point, the Brits are like tourists taking their phone our to video Russian planes

March 4, 2022

Wali described how a Ukrainian police SWAT team found the house where he and his volunteer fighting friends were staying. 

‘Despite being undercover, the population had alerted the authorities,’ he reveals, but it was an experience that shook people up having been shoved to the wall, and sometimes to the ground.

‘Ukrainian police SWAT has entered our ‘secret’ house. It was me who opened the door because the SWAT even politely knocked on the door. When I opened I saw the column of armed soldiers dressed in black. I couldn’t help but say a soft and slow ‘ahhhhhhh’ while raising my hands slowly.

Wali said that at first he thought he was about to be captured by the Russians and likely be killed. Everyone in his party immediately put their hands up.

‘Soldiers in the house put their hands up in the air like prisoners. One of the volunteers was talking to his wife on the phone. He was slammed to the floor, with a boot to his face. His wife was crying on the phone, thinking her husband had just been killed by the Russians.

‘SWAT operators quickly realized we were on their side. In a short while we became friends. We exchanged jokes, laughed and commented on our equipment. ‘Those are good boots,’ a British ‘mate’ told a SWAT operator. ‘No, no, they are not good, they are from China,’ replied the SWAT dressed in black, who was no longer pointing his weapon at us.

‘This little story put everyone in a good mood. It even allowed us to make more contacts in Ukraine.’

The home where Wali was staying was raised by a Ukrainian SWAT team who were suspicious

The home where Wali was staying was raised by a Ukrainian SWAT team who were suspicious

The home where Wali was staying was raised by a Ukrainian SWAT team who were suspicious

March 5, 2022

The mood suddenly takes a turn once Wali leaves the city where he has been staying and takes a trip out into the suburbs.

‘This is an apocalypse in the making. Poor people. Soon we enter a service station. Looking at the menu… Realizing there’s no more food available. I look around and realize the tables are empty. People will eat whatever is left over.’

Wali tells how the roads are ‘filled with refugees and stopped cars,’ as people leave their homes and their lives as enemy helicopters buzz overhead. 

‘Poor people. Sadness,’ he states, bluntly.

‘An old man is approaching. They shake our hands without saying a word. His eyes were filled with tears. He stares us in the eyes for several seconds.

‘Need I say more?’ he writes.

Wali details how the roads are full of refugees and parked cars

Wali details how the roads are full of refugees and parked cars

Wali details how the roads are full of refugees and parked cars 

Wali said that he felt a gratefulness from the Ukrainians as he arrived

Wali said that he felt a gratefulness from the Ukrainians as he arrived

Wali said that he felt a gratefulness from the Ukrainians as he arrived

March 6, 2022 

Wali continues to describe his experience in the country noting that not everything is as terrible that is being reported on the news – he even had the opportunity to take a hot shower – although everything is shut and there are sandbags and barricades everywhere.

‘Today we are closer to the front. Y’all probably think I’m getting shot non stop and shells popping around me? There is nothing like that!

‘Actually, I am currently being treated like a princess. Even got to take a long hot shower! A Ukrainian gave us access to a closed building. Yesterday I was walking through places that are starting to see a hunger strike. Today I ate a full meal in a pub! I’m closer to the front today though!

Wali tells how evidence of once normal life such as McDonald’s, and gas stations are now stacked with sandbags and other barricades .

‘Coming out of the pub we saw the streets filled with X-shaped anti-tank obstacles that remind us of the Normandy landings. Sandbags are stacked in front of modern-day stores, close to McDonalds and service stations.’

Stores from Starbucks to McDonald's are all closed while there are sandbags in the street

Stores from Starbucks to McDonald's are all closed while there are sandbags in the street

Stores from Starbucks to McDonald’s are all closed while there are sandbags in the street 

March 7, 2022, Part I

Throughout his descriptive diary, Wali tells of several small victories including the downing of a Russian drone and the trapping of soldiers in an elevator. 

‘Looks like a woman shot down a small Russian drone by throwing a pot of pickles at it from her balcony!’ he states matter of factly. 

‘During an attack, Russian soldiers were in the elevator in a building. Ukrainians cut the power and soldiers found themselves as prisoners!

‘A month ago, the Russians seemed invincible. That’s not the case today anymore. Victory begins when we see defeat in the eyes of the enemy,’ he says optimistically.

'A month ago, the Russians seemed invincible. That's not the case today anymore. Victory begins when we see defeat in the eyes of the enemy.'

'A month ago, the Russians seemed invincible. That's not the case today anymore. Victory begins when we see defeat in the eyes of the enemy.'

‘A month ago, the Russians seemed invincible. That’s not the case today anymore. Victory begins when we see defeat in the eyes of the enemy.’

Wali tells how the Ukrainian people are taking matters into their own hands to defeat Russia

Wali tells how the Ukrainian people are taking matters into their own hands to defeat Russia

Wali tells how the Ukrainian people are taking matters into their own hands to defeat Russia

March 7, 2022, Part II    

Wali details how on-edge the Ukrainian soldiers are but that the ‘mood changes’ once they know you are on their side.  

‘The path forward felt like the beginning of an apocalypse, with roads filled with refugees fleeing the battle. We ran out of gas and all the gas stations were empty. We approached a checkpoint occupied by a Ukrainian militia (the territorial defense). The check point was ‘decorated’ with Russian corpse models hanging from a post, a question of setting the tone.

‘At check point, the looks were dark. We are used to looking out for ourselves. The hands that held the AK-47 were ready to shoot. After a few inspections, once the soldiers realized that we were fighting alongside them, the atmosphere has completely changed. Soldiers put down their weapons. We have informed them of our gas problem. The unit commander escorted us to a gas station with a little bit of gas left for the military. We were invited to a small restaurant by the roadside. A hot meal was prepared for us by a lady, and despite the food supply issues that started in the industry. The lady was wearing a yellow scarf on her arm, a symbol of Ukrainian fighters.

‘Ukrainians are tough on invaders, but welcoming with those who came to help them. It’s hard not to love a people who just want to be free!

Wali poses with his new-found Ukrainian friends and a fellow Canadian soldier. 'Ukrainians are tough on invaders, but welcoming with those who came to help them. It's hard not to love a people who just want to be free!'

Wali poses with his new-found Ukrainian friends and a fellow Canadian soldier. 'Ukrainians are tough on invaders, but welcoming with those who came to help them. It's hard not to love a people who just want to be free!'

Wali poses with his new-found Ukrainian friends and a fellow Canadian soldier. ‘Ukrainians are tough on invaders, but welcoming with those who came to help them. It’s hard not to love a people who just want to be free!’

During a checkpoint, Wali and his fighter friends came under suspicion with tensions running high until they realized whose side they were on

During a checkpoint, Wali and his fighter friends came under suspicion with tensions running high until they realized whose side they were on

During a checkpoint, Wali and his fighter friends came under suspicion with tensions running high until they realized whose side they were on

March 8, 2022  

In one of his more recent postings, Wali makes comparisons between the Ukrainian invasion and scenes from World War II. 

‘In cities near disputed areas, almost all businesses are closed. Pockets of sand are stacked behind windows and X-shaped obstacles are placed on the sidewalk. These trades could soon become the next defensive positions.

‘I feel like I’m the spectator of WWII in color!’ 

‘I think I can say that we were the first wave of volunteer fighters to enter Ukraine! When I say “we” I mean the Norman Brigade. Of course there were foreign contractors already in place at the time of hostility. But I think we were the first. And we warriors love to be first because we’re all a little competitive. And it’s so much better like this!’   

Wali says he believes he is among the first group of volunteer fighters to enter the country

Wali says he believes he is among the first group of volunteer fighters to enter the country

Wali says he believes he is among the first group of volunteer fighters to enter the country 

 

Wali makes comparisons to pictures he had seen of the Second World War. 'I feel like I’m the spectator of WWII in color!' he says

Wali makes comparisons to pictures he had seen of the Second World War. 'I feel like I’m the spectator of WWII in color!' he says

Wali makes comparisons to pictures he had seen of the Second World War. ‘I feel like I’m the spectator of WWII in color!’ he says

March 9, 2022

‘The Russians are not happy. Air warning sirens are being heard continuously.’ 

Wali posted a picture of Ukrainians sheltering in a bunker as air raid sirens could be heard outside.   

‘This is what the daily daily life of Ukrainians looks like in the bombed areas. When the alarm goes off, people rush to the basement. They do what anyone would do to pass their time: turn on their cell phone and watch videos on social media when the internet is still working. They watch the same “cat” videos and the same news. This news is what is happening around them, not in a distant country. Humans have a great adaptation ability. People here are mostly used to this war that didn’t even start two weeks ago.

‘Urban buildings in the region are often concrete and are solid. Shells destroy windows and exterior of buildings, but most often fail to destroy their structure. In most situations, it’s easy to protect yourself from bombings, despite the fact that the material damage is often huge. Remember it’s still winter here and the temperature is near freezing point. If a blackout destroys a window, it becomes impossible to heat the house. So it is necessary to “patch” the window with the edges, in this case with plastic bags. This is just an example among others.

‘War is a waste of human mess.’

Wali details how regular Ukrainians are forced to take shelter in basements and bunkers

Wali details how regular Ukrainians are forced to take shelter in basements and bunkers

Wali details how regular Ukrainians are forced to take shelter in basements and bunkers

After fighting in the Kandahar theatre during the Afghanistan War between 2009 and 2011, Wali, who is now a dad of one then took it upon himself to travel to Iraq in 2015 to help fight the Islamic State’s forces.In June 2017, one of his comrades reportedly shot dead an 

Islamic State terrorist from an incredible distance of 3,450m – more than two miles away. 

It has been widely reported that a member of the Royal Canadian 22nd used a McMillan Tac-50 rifle to fatally shoot an Islamic State terrorist in 2017 from more than two miles away – a ‘world-record’ for the longest ever kill shot. 

On Saturday, Ukraine’s defiant president Volodymyr Zelensky put out a plea and appealed for members of the international armed forces community to fly to Eastern Europe and join the war effort.  

A 40-year-old Canadian sniper known only as 'Wali' (above) is set to join the fighting in Ukraine after answering President Volodymyr Zelensky's call for foreign volunteers to help defeat Russian invaders

A 40-year-old Canadian sniper known only as 'Wali' (above) is set to join the fighting in Ukraine after answering President Volodymyr Zelensky's call for foreign volunteers to help defeat Russian invaders

A 40-year-old Canadian sniper known only as ‘Wali’ (above) is set to join the fighting in Ukraine after answering President Volodymyr Zelensky’s call for foreign volunteers to help defeat Russian invaders

The marksman, known only by his nickname ‘Wali’, hails from the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment and has previous combat experience from fighting in the Kandahar theatre during the Afghanistan War between 2009 and 2011. Pictured above in Afghanistan in 2009

Just last week, 'Wali' was still working as a computer programmer in Canada. Now he leaves behind his wife and baby son, who will celebrate his first birthday without him next week

Just last week, 'Wali' was still working as a computer programmer in Canada. Now he leaves behind his wife and baby son, who will celebrate his first birthday without him next week

Just last week, ‘Wali’ was still working as a computer programmer in Canada. Now he leaves behind his wife and baby son, who will celebrate his first birthday without him next week

More than 20,000 people from 52 countries have already volunteered to repel the Russian invaders in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said over the weekend. 

He said: ‘I know it’s just awful, but me, in my head, when I see images of destruction in Ukraine, it is my son that I see, in danger and who is suffering.’

His wife, whose identity has been protected for security reasons, said she reluctantly allowed him to leave and that keeping him home would have been ‘like putting him in jail’. 

Ukraine has plans to field a reserve unit of around 10,000 trained officers and more than 120,000 volunteers to repel the Russian invaders. 

On Saturday, Ukraine's defiant president Volodymyr Zelensky put out a plea and appealed for members of the international armed forces community to fly to Eastern Europe and join the war effort. Pictured: A sniper is pictured in the Zaproizhzia region, Ukraine on February 18

On Saturday, Ukraine's defiant president Volodymyr Zelensky put out a plea and appealed for members of the international armed forces community to fly to Eastern Europe and join the war effort. Pictured: A sniper is pictured in the Zaproizhzia region, Ukraine on February 18

On Saturday, Ukraine’s defiant president Volodymyr Zelensky put out a plea and appealed for members of the international armed forces community to fly to Eastern Europe and join the war effort. Pictured: A sniper is pictured in the Zaproizhzia region, Ukraine on February 18

More than 20,000 people from 52 countries have already volunteered to repel the Russian invaders in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion. Pictured, members of Ukraine's international legion, where volunteers from the US, UK, Sweden, Lithuania and Mexico have joined

More than 20,000 people from 52 countries have already volunteered to repel the Russian invaders in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion. Pictured, members of Ukraine's international legion, where volunteers from the US, UK, Sweden, Lithuania and Mexico have joined

More than 20,000 people from 52 countries have already volunteered to repel the Russian invaders in Ukraine, where they will serve in a newly created international legion. Pictured, members of Ukraine’s international legion, where volunteers from the US, UK, Sweden, Lithuania and Mexico have joined

Pictured, volunteers from Portugal and Brazil in Ukraine army fatigues in the days following Putin's invasion

Pictured, volunteers from Portugal and Brazil in Ukraine army fatigues in the days following Putin's invasion

Pictured, volunteers from Portugal and Brazil in Ukraine army fatigues in the days following Putin’s invasion

Source: DailyMail

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