Missing 19-year-old UK soldier turns up on Kyiv front line fighting Russia

He was made to 'sign a contract' promising not to leave Ukraine until the end of the war and equipped with an AK-47

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A 19-year-old Coldstream Guardsman who went missing has been revealed to have joined Ukraine’s Foreign Legion to fight on the front line against Russia in Kyiv.

The teenager, who has not been named, travelled over Poland’s border into Ukraine to join other recruits.

He was made to “sign a contract” promising not to leave Ukraine until the end of the war and gave his passport in.

Members of the Ukrainian forces sit on a military vehicle amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, near Demydiv, Ukraine.
Members of the Ukrainian forces sit on a military vehicle amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, near Demydiv, Ukraine.

He then was equipped with an AK-47 and travelled to the front line in Kyiv.

A friend of the soldier said: “He didn’t want to sit around in England and wanted to put his training to good use to help the people of Ukraine.

“He’s a great lad and really believes in what he’s doing.

“He happily signed a contract and handed over his passport because he has no intention of leaving until this war is over.”

“It’s not that easy to speak to him over there because the signal’s not great but he’s doing OK and was put into action straight away because of his combat training.” He told the Daily Mail.

A small number of serving British personnel are believed to have gone absent without leave to join the resistance against the Russian invasion, while veterans and Britons without combat experience have also travelled to Ukraine.

Members of the Ukrainian military sit, amid Russia's invasion in Ukraine, near Kyiv, Ukraine.
Members of the Ukrainian military sit, amid Russia's invasion in Ukraine, near Kyiv, Ukraine.

Boris Johnson warned they would face court martial on their return to the UK, as Ministry of Defence (MoD) chiefs have banned all service personnel from travelling to Ukraine “until further notice”.

Armed forces minister James Heappey said: “It is illegal for British service personnel to first of all go absent without leave in the first place, but to go absent without leave in order to fight in a foreign war is simply unacceptable, and frankly risks the United Kingdom being wrongly claimed by Russia to be a belligerent in this.

“Service people who might think they are doing the right thing should reflect it is 100% not the correct thing to be doing.”

He said he had heard a small number of serving troops – around three or four – had gone to Ukraine.

But he added: “It’s not just the very small number of soldiers who have gone Awol apparently to go fight in Ukraine, I would say to the wider veterans community I know… you accept the unlimited liability in the service of your country to stand up for what’s right in the world, that there’s a thing deep inside you as a soldier that makes you see TV images and makes you want to go and fight for what’s right, but no good comes from British service people or veterans going to Ukraine to be a part of this.”