UK man, 19, who works at Subway, goes to Ukraine to fight Russians with zero military background

He signed up with the Ukrainian forces for two years.

Belmont Lay | March 13, 2022, 06:13 PM

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A 19-year-old UK man, who loves video games and worked at a local Subway outlet, signed up to fight Russians in Ukraine and went over within 36 hours, despite having zero relevant combat military experience.

This turn of events, which has left his family incredulous, was reported by ITV Granada.

The mother of the post-pubescent teen, Jamie, approached the outlet to reveal what happened to her son.

What happened

Jamie's mother, who refused to be named, revealed that her son does not speak Polish or Ukrainian.

via ITV Granada

All the lad did was email a website that was facilitating the recruitment of foreign fighters to join the Ukrainians and booked a one-way ticket that cost £45 (S$79).

He then travelled on a child's passport on March 5 from Manchester, UK to Warsaw, Poland, where he would cross the border into Ukraine.

His mother said he had never left the country prior to this trip.

In total, he signed up and went to Ukraine all within 36 hours.

Influenced by online content

The mother said her son was influenced by online comments and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who supported those who want to fight Russians.

The mother of three said there was no vetting involved, and instead Jamie was simply accepted and told where to meet others like him once he landed in Poland.

The lack of vetting extended to the lack of alarm bells going off when Jamie's introductory email contained a spelling error, suggesting he was not even old enough.

When Jamie contacted the London-based organisation, he wrote: "Hello, I am here to sign up to help ukrain fight off Russia. I was told to email you to get more information."

The organisation wrote back and thanked Jamie for his support and asked him to fill out a form, adding a note to say he should only book tickets if he had military/ combat or medical, rescue, fire fighting or mechanical experience.

Jamie wrote back saying he had booked his flight to Poland.

He is believed to have crossed into Ukraine by March 7.

Loved video games

In comments reported by ITV Granada, the mother sounded exasperated as she said her son had only completed just one year of Army Cadets when he was at school.

Jamie's mother also said her son enjoyed playing Call of Duty.

"He hasn't got any military experience or anything like that -- it's just literally from Call of Duty," the mother said.

"He's never shot a rifle or anything like that."

Despite his paltry military background experience, she was aghast he still managed to sign a contract with the Ukrainian forces for at least two years.

Jamie's mother said the teen goes to work to make sandwiches and comes home to watch videos of soldiers and refugees in Ukraine, as well as videos of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

His internet search history was littered with news about what was happening in Ukraine.

Family got in contact with him in Ukraine

The family then tried to use geo-tracking tech to locate Jamie.

The last place he was at was just miles from the border with Lviv, a large western Ukrainian city.

Once he crossed into Ukraine the site stopped working.

Some 24 hours later, Jamie messaged his family to confirm he had signed up to join the ground forces.

The text exchange in the morning after 9am read:

Jamie: I'm in I've signed the contract and got the here


Family: For how long? Are you ok?

We have been worried

Jamie: Until marshal law is over

Family: Are you ok

Jamie: I'm fine got here last night, going on a run in a second but I'm surrounded by the whole world so it's amazing

Will speak to you later

Family: Stay safe please

Jamie: I will as I stated the whole world's around me.

Got people from every where

Family: Try to keep in touch please as often as you can

Jamie: I will send a message every morning saying I'm alive and healthy and that's it

Family: That's enough, I just want to hear your safe xx love you

Family still shocked

The mother told ITV Granada: "Every day you're just waiting, I'm constantly on my laptop, on my phone, just checking."

His uncle added: "In the eyes of the law he is an adult, but if you look at the email he sent it says 'I want to come and fight Russia', it even has spelling mistakes -- an email like that you'd hope they'd pick it up."

"The fact that in 36 hours he was able to sign up is unbelievable."

"He didn't take anything with him, he just told us, 'I've got my army cadet uniform'."

UK authorities said it is advises against travelling to Ukraine and anyone who travels to conflict zones to engage in unlawful activity, should expect to be investigated upon their return to the UK.

All media via ITV Granada

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