A heroic Californian Army veteran has traveled to Ukraine to fight Russia – and says hew will ‘do what is necessary’ to stop Putin.
Dad-of-one Jericho Skye, 25, of California, has volunteered for the Ukrainian Foreign Legion to ‘offer these civilians some sort of protection.’
He said he never believed that Putin would invade – and now felt he had to do something after seeing civilians bombed and killed.
‘What’s happening in [Ukraine] is atrocious,’ Skye told SWNS. ‘It’s a totally unprovoked attack.
‘We as the world have to stand together and fight not only tyranny, but to fight [Putin’s] way of thinking that he can just come and brutalize whoever he wants and take over. So it’s up to us to hold that line and show him that we as the world are not going to take this
‘If it doesn’t stop here, then it’s not going to stop,’ he said.
Jericho served as a military policeman in the 137th Military Police Detachment of the US army. He has never served in active combat but says he isn’t scared of the Russian army.
‘I have a set of skills that are always there,’ he said. ‘There’s a very real enemy, and it’s really easy to understand what our mission is here – to defend the country.’
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Jericho Skye, 25, from California, took a quick smoke break before hopping on a truck to Ukraine. He volunteered to fight for the Ukrainian Foreign Legion against Russia as he crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border on Monday
He held hands with a man who sent him off as he packed his rucksack into the truck. Skye said it’s the ‘world’s’ job to stand up tyranny and to Putin’s way of thinking. ‘What’s happening in [Ukraine] is atrocious. It’s a totally unprovoked attack. We as the world have to stand together and fight not only tyranny, but to fight [Putin’s] way of thinking that he can just come and brutalize whoever he wants and take over’
He also said his ‘heart goes out to the Russian soldiers, to be honest.’
‘From what I’ve read they didn’t even know what they were getting into, and they’re a conscripted military, so I’m going to be fighting against 18/19-year-old kids that didn’t sign up for this.
‘There will be professional soldiers of course, but a lot of them will just be here doing their national service.
‘My heart bleeds for those kids, I don’t have any animosity towards the Russian people.
‘I’ll do what is necessary, but I’ll really feel bad if I have to take their life when they don’t want to be here.
‘I hope they realize what is happening and go home.’
He hugged a man who came to send him off before hoping into the truck
The veteran (pictured in 2020) has an American flag tattooed on his arm in a similar place the flag would be placed on his Army uniform. The flag is traditionally sewed on backwards, as it appears on his arm, to represent the flag flying backwards in the wind as the soldier moves forward
He also said he has heard many say they want to help Ukraine, but ‘talk is really cheap, especially in the US.’
‘It’s easy to say that you want to do one thing while you’re sitting on your couch and watching it on the television. It’s one other thing to offer your support in whatever ways you can, you know.’
Skye said he had met ‘wonderful Polish people’ after crossing the border from Poland to Ukraine after hitching a ride from a truck driver on Monday in Dorohusk.
Jericho said he was shocked to see the number of refugees on the border as he crossed into Poland.
He said: ‘When I got to the border at Poland there were only 50 people there, so I thought: “Oh maybe it isn’t as bad as we see,” but right now I’m next to no less than 1,000 people – children and women, young kids.
‘When I saw that they were bombing civilians and there wasn’t going to be any other military support, I knew I had to do something.
‘If NATO was coming or the EU, or anyone else, I’d think: “Oh they’ve got this” and I’d leave it – but there’s no support other than individuals volunteering.
‘I’ve heard of a few veterans on Reddit coming to Ukraine to fight, but don’t know anyone personally who’s heading out here.
‘I met another US veteran on the flight out here coming to fight, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I find other brothers from the US or UK militaries out here.’
As for how the US can help the Ukrainian people under attack, Skye said he would be relaying that information once he gets in there.
Leaving behind a five-year-old son and his parents, Jericho says he isn’t scared to fight, but hopes that his family doesn’t have to face losing him.
He said: ‘No I’m not really nervous, It’s kind of weird but it’s just what I do – it’s what I’m trained for.
‘I have a son, and I feel good about being here and what we’re doing.
Skye leaves behind a five-year-son (pictured in 2018) and his parents, but says he is not afraid to fight Putin’s army of men
He said he wasn’t nervous and ‘felt good’ about his decision. ‘I’m not really nervous, It’s kind of weird but it’s just what I do – it’s what I’m trained for. I have a son, and I feel good about being here and what we’re doing’
Skye (pictured with his son and girlfriend Erika in 2018) said he applied to join the Ukrainian Foreign Legion through the embassy and is trying to learn to Ukrainian alphabet to help him communicate while he’s there
‘I have hope that I’ll get home eventually, but if I had any sort of fear it’s that my mom and dad are still alive and my son is still alive, but I’d never want to put them through losing me.
‘It’s in the realm of possibility, of course, but I have a good feeling about it.’
Intending to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, Jericho says the process for volunteering was simple.
He explained: ‘I contacted the Ukrainian Embassy back home.
‘They sent me an application asking for basic military experience, background and sent that in to volunteer for the International Foreign Legion.
‘I’m kind of counting on people speaking English. ‘[I’m] trying to learn the Ukrainian alphabet right now, but there’s nothing really to reference – it’s difficult.
‘I watched the Russians start to position troops around the border and I just thought he wouldn’t do anything – nobody wants a war.
‘I told my friend one night I thought Putin was more intelligent than that really, by the time I got home my friend’s mum said Russia had just invaded.
‘On day two I totally understood nobody was coming to their support, it was just them – their little military and civilians.
‘Nobody else wants to get involved, and I get that, but it’s just their civilians with no training holding back one of the world superpowers.
‘It’s like looking out my window and seeing a kid being beaten up while everyone stands around them and says they want to help but can’t.
‘I don’t mind if I get injured, I’ll be there to help them – and these guys are holding their own, they’re putting up some stiff resistance against some of the best fighters on earth.
‘It’ll be an honor to serve with these guys.’
His sister Rebecca Magallon started a GoFundMe to support her brother’s ‘honorable act.’
Armed men take pictures of themselves in front of a bombed building on Thursday. Putin has now killed more Ukrainian civilians than soldiers and has bombed a maternity hospital and a disability center
Ukrainians try to pass over a bridge in Iprin after it was bombed
Citizens have taken refuge in subway stations and bomb shelters as the war continues
‘His bravery to risk his life, and enter into a dangerous territory, is such an honorable act. I want him to know how much support and love he has behind him,’ she wrote on the fundraiser.
It has raised $1,070 of it’s $5,000 goal.
On Friday, Russia blew up a disabled care home near the city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials have said, as Vladimir Putin’s troops stoop to a new low just 48 hours after shelling women as they gave birth in a maternity hospital.
Oleg Sinegubov, an official from Kharkiv which has been under siege by Russian forces for days, accused Putin’s men of committing a ‘war crime’ by launching air strikes against the facility in the town of Oskil which had 330 residents inside at the time the bombs hit.
Sinegubov said 63 care home residents have since been evacuated, but could not give an update on the other 267. Ten of those living at the home require wheelchairs, he said, while another 50 have reduced mobility. Ihor Terekhov, mayor of the city, said another 48 schools have been destroyed by Russian missiles.
Just 48 hours before the care home was destroyed, Russian jets had bombed a maternity hospital in the southern city of Mariupol as women gave birth inside. The Kremlin has sought to paint those wounded in the attack as ‘crisis actors’ as part of a vile propaganda attempt to dismiss allegations its troops are attacking women and children.
Ukraine says Russian attacks have now killed more civilians than soldiers – without giving an exact figure for either – as the Kremlin’s generals pivot from shock-and-awe-style precision strikes to ‘medieval’ siege warfare. Dnipro, hundreds of miles to the south of Kharkiv, was hit by three strikes early Friday that damaged a kindergarten, a civilian apartment block, and a shoe factory – killing at least one person.
But Ukrainian forces continue to fight back, saying successful counter-attacks around the northern city of Chernihiv has recaptured five villages after Russian units took such heavy casualties that they were no longer able to attack effectively. It comes after another successful counter-attack in the same region on Thursday, and a counter-attack to the west of Kyiv, which grounded a Russian offensive to a halt.