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British Army veteran Shareef Amin nicknamed ‘Rambo’ after surviving Russian attack in Ukraine
LONDON: A British Army veteran fighting for Ukraine has been nicknamed ‘Rambo’ by his comrades after he survived multiple bullets and dragged himself out of a trench to safety, the Metro reported.
Shareef Amin, an Afghan veteran who served nine years with the 1st Battalion, The Rifles, said he traveled to Ukraine almost immediately after the war began in February and initially provided humanitarian aid.
However, as the fighting intensified, he began to use the skills and experience of the British Army to train Ukrainians before eventually enlisting as a soldier.
In October, Amin and his unit came under intense artillery fire after being spotted by the Russians, the Metro reported.
The attack left him with gunshot wounds, punctured lungs and shrapnel embedded in all four limbs.
“I shouldn’t be alive. I was in a shallow trench with my friend, a Ukrainian we called professor, as the shots kept coming,” Amin told the Metro.
“Next thing I hear that almighty thud. I felt like someone had dragged me underground. I just saw red.
“The teacher’s body has gone limp. It landed on me. At that moment, I knew I had been hit. I thought, ‘I died here. This is where I die. So I accepted it. »
Trapped, Amin remembers yelling at another comrade, Oleh Shumov, to see if he was still alive and telling him he couldn’t get out.
He told the Underground how, despite still being under fire, Shumov jumped out of his trench, grabbed the professor by the helmet, and dragged his body.
It was then that Amin realized the extent of his own injuries.
“I got up and felt an almighty agony through my lungs, through my arm. I looked down and my hand was hanging down,” he told the Metro.
“I don’t know how I had the strength to pull myself out of that ditch, but I did. As I did, I kind of rolled into a crawl and saw this huge shrapnel coming out of my leg. It was like a tin can.
Amin and Shumov were quickly rescued by Kozak Warrior personnel armored vehicles and driven to waiting ambulances before being taken to hospital.
With both lungs punctured and limbs broken, surgeons removed three shrapnel, which now lies next to his hospital bed in a jar.
Despite his serious injuries, Amin has defied medical prognoses and is already walking again. However, he lost most sensation in his right hand and foot.
His nickname is a reference to the character in Sylvester Stallone’s film, John Rambo, who survives combat on numerous occasions.
Friends are funding Amin, from Bristol, to return to the UK with his Ukrainian fiancée Helen Vitvickaja and 10-year-old son.
The soldier, who has since received a Ukrainian bravery medal, said he does not regret his decision to fight.
“If I sit at home despite having skills that can help, what kind of human being am I? »