Hero British Army vets go through 'gates of hell' to get supplies to Ukraine 'Why not?'

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Ukraine: Former British army officer ‘willing to fight’

Ex-rifleman Craig Monaghan, from Manchester, has pulled together a team of ten to take trauma kits into the heart of the warzone. Mr Monaghan, 31, serving with 2 Rifles in what has become known as the “bloodiest tour” of Afghanistan in 2009, sustained life-changing injuries after being blown-up. But he has vowed to do everything he can to help outnumbered Ukrainian troops fighting Vladimir Putin’s brutal forces.

Darren Roberts, 50, who served in Northern Ireland and the Balkans, added: “War is pitiless, it is merciless, and it is the innocent who suffer and it is always the ones who have made the decision not to fight that end up suffering the most – the children.

“We are only two and a half hours away. Why wouldn’t we come? It is an absolute tragedy.

“We can do something, so we are going to do something.”

Mr Roberts said his extraordinary bravery is for his wife and daughter, adding: “To do nothing is more risky. It will come across Europe. It will sweep across Europe like a fire.”

British army vets

Of the 10 veterans on the heroic mission, two arrived in Poland on Saturday (Image: Steve Reigate)

Decorated veteran Craig has spoken with troops on Ukraine’s frontline and discovered they are not receiving vital trauma kits.

But he has urged British people tempted to travel to Ukraine to stay at home unless they have extensive military training.

The ex-rifleman warned that people “chasing bullets” will be a liability to the Ukrainian forces repelling Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

He said: “We have linked up with people who are currently fighting using Instagram, had a couple of calls back and forth with actual fighters and one of the things that doesn’t seem to be getting from here, across to there, is medical kits.

READ MORE: Ukrainian residents cheer as armed force take down Russian fighter jet

British army vets

An ex-rifleman has pulled together a team of ten to take trauma kits into the heart of the warzone (Image: Steve Reigate)

“Fighters are fighting without the basics. When I was in Afghanistan, we each had two tourniquets and field dressings. They have not got that between four of them.

“So we have built up some pretty rapid trauma kits that played the game for us in Afghanistan and they will hopefully play the game for these men scrapping with the Russians.

“If you put it into an Afghan context, that war was changing every other day. Here it is changing hourly.

“We don’t want to put people’s lives at too much of a risk, but ultimately we also understand we are crashing into the gates of hell. 

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We can do something, so we are going to do something

“A lot of people want to chase bullets. 

“I got blown up in Afghanistan and was told I would never live a normal life again. I went through Invictus and went on to play sport for England, then built a foundation off of that.

Craig Monaghan became an elite rugby player after suffering a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and losing three-quarters of his hearing, in a series of blasts.

He has also met Prince Harry several times. The pair warned plain-clothed Russian Special Forces are killing civilians in brutal attacks.

And they said Russia will not respect international law and will continue committing war crimes every day.

Mr Roberts told the Daily Express, standing on Poland’s border with Ukraine: “The situation on the ground is changing hour by hour. Is there going to be a humanitarian corridor or not?

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“There are also plain-clothes units targeting civilians. The idea is to get all the trauma kits across the border to as many soldiers as we can.

“We have just got to be prepared for everything. We’re not going to fight.

“You have got a first world Western country being attacked by a brutal, merciless military that will commit war crimes every day.

“I don’t know how well equipped we are to deal with that in the West when you have something as belligerent as that. They are not going to respect humanitarian corridors. They are too far in and too deep and lost too much to go back now.

“It is a tragedy of humanity, diplomacy and it is happening on Europe’s doorsteps.

“We are not going to fight. Nothing is without risk. I am married, I have a daughter. This is for them. To do nothing is more risky. It will come across Europe. It will sweep across Europe like a fire. That is not a crazy conspiracy theory.

nato russia ukraine

NATO forces line up against Russia (Image: EXPRESS)

“This is the most serious thing the West and the World has faced since the Second World War. It may not feel like it to the people back home because you can still order a Nandos.

“This is on our doorstep. This isn’t a poppy field in Afghanistan. We are not fighting the Taliban. This is Russia. This is the former Soviet Union.”

Of the 10 veterans on the heroic mission, two arrived in Poland on Saturday and are assessing the best routes to get two tonnes of military aid onto the frontline.

The rest of the team are expected to be on the border as early as today.

He added: “We have also got as much medical aid as we can for kids.

“There are two tonnes of kits on its way. It is purely medical aid.

“We have been compelled to come out here. As veterans, the most anti-war people you are going to come across are veterans.

“We can’t sit back and do nothing.”

Both men urged civilians tempted to join the conflict to stay at home as there are other ways to help – by sending money to charities on the frontline or by buying medical kits.

Mr Roberts said: “It never ends well. The amount of lads getting into their first contact then coming straight back is testament to that.”

And Craig issued a stark warning: “You will be a liability. At best you’ll just get killed or injured. At worst, you’ll get others killed.”

“I destroyed my family. I destroyed my life. You don’t want to risk your mental health. You don’t want to destroy your lives. You may think you can cope with shooting someone, but it all ends up in the same place – a dark room on your own.

“I had failed suicide attempts. I served with the Rifles in 2009 which is renowned as the bloodiest tour. We are the ones going through the Press with all the suicides. Lads I served with, 12 have committed suicide since. We only lost 10 while we were out there.”



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