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24th Mar 2022

British guy who travelled to Ukraine to fight Russians returns home after 10 days

Kieran Galpin


He described the ‘obvious lack of training’ amongst the Russian troops

The British 21-year-old who journeyed to Ukraine to fight the Russians has returned home after 10 days, citing that there was “too high risk and too little reward.”

Ethan Dennis, who has served four years as an engineer in the Royal Navy, decided to travel to Ukraine on March 2, just six days after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded his neighbouring country.

The Portsmouth resident flew to Rzeszów in southern Poland before crossing to Ukraine with other Brits he met at the airport. One of the group, 36-year-old Ben Spann, has since returned to his wife and son after becoming concerned he’d joined a “suicide squad.”


Dennis’s 10 days were packed with missile strikes, mortar bombs and intense combat against Russian forces. Witnessing the “brutal conflict firsthand”, Dennis hopes that Ukraine and Russia negotiate “sooner rather than later – for everyone’s benefit.”

Upon their arrival in war-torn Ukraine, Dennis and his mates were taken to Lyiv where they were assigned a safe house. Locals reported the “foreign uniforms” so Ukrainian Special Forces surrounded the compound on day three.

“The team burst through the door and told us to put our hands on our head whilst they checked our documents and verified our stories,” he said. “One of our squad even had a gun put to his head when he refused to follow one of their instructions.”


Dennis said the “intense moment” was subdued once Ukrainian forces realised who they were.

However the men wanted action and so decided to change squadrons and journey to the nation’s capital, Kyiv, where they were applauded on arrival.

They were briefed at an undisclosed location and told how to conduct covert operations on the front line.

He explained: “When we arrived at the briefing room with a different unit in Kiev we were handed better kit and proper military ID’s.

“It was a much more organised outfit than the unit we were with before, and within a day we could see why.

“We were thrown right into the action and sent to guard a position just outside Kiev which was a key asset in the Ukrainian war effort.”


Dennis described the “obvious lack of training” amongst the Russian troops, which he claims to have “used to our advantage.”

He added: “The fighting was intense and very scary at points, but I just remembered all my training and tried to take calculated risks.”

But he’d “had enough” and boarded a refugee train out of the capital and back to Lviv where he spent the night in a Red Cross tent.

Dennis flew back to the UK on March 19, describing the “relief” he felt when the plane left the runway.

He added: “My girlfriend was overjoyed to see me, and I’ve been told if I want to go and fight again she won’t be there when I get back – so that’s my decision made.”

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