A British army veteran nicknamed Rambo has returned to the front line in Ukraine just months after he survived getting shot multiple times by Russian troops and was blown up in an artillery blast.
Shareef Amin, 40, who served nine years in Britain’s 1st Battalion ‘The Rifles’ including two tours of Afghanistan, nearly lost his right leg and arm when he and his Ukrainian comrades were relentlessly shelled while on a reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines last October.
Astonishingly, less than nine months after he was left with bullet wounds, punctures to both his lungs and shrapnel embedded in all four limbs, Amin has returned to the bloody war because he ‘couldn’t turn my back on the people of Ukraine‘.
‘I originally went to fight for freedom at a time when peace in Europe was being threatened by a crazed dictator,’ the British war hero told The Sun.
‘That job is not over. Until it is, until Ukraine wins, I will do whatever I can to help.
Shareef Amin, 40, a veteran of 1st Battalion ‘The Rifles’ who served two tours of Afghanistan, was badly wounded in October while fighting in Ukraine (left)
The British war hero documented his return to Ukraine in a video. Here, he is pictured with a comrade back in Ukraine
‘I made a commitment to the people of that country and I intend to honour it until the very last bullet is fired.’
Despite suffering horrific injures, Amin was rescued by his comrades and had surgery to save his arm and leg in a military hospital in Odessa.
After being evacuated home on a private medical jet in December, surgeons in Bristol – where he is from – treated Amin after friends raised money to get him back to his Ukrainian fiancée Helen Vitvickaja and her ten-year-old son Platon.
Amin – nicknamed ‘Rambo’ by his comrades – first went to Ukraine to provide humanitarian assistance before signing up to fight
Amin, who has been reunited with Kyiv troops in the flood-hit city of Kherson, said that he loves the people of Ukraine and despite suffering life-threatening injuries, he has adapted to managing the pain. He said that while he is still breathing, he will continue in ‘fighting the good fight’.
Posting a video of his return to the war, Amin said: ‘So guys finally back in Ukraine after several months of rehabilitation. We’ve just about finished the last stage of getting across the border and round two here we go. Slava Ukraine.’
The British veteran arrives in Kherson just weeks after the Kakhovka dam was blown up – which both Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for.
Amin also returns amid Ukraine’s counter-offensive and the aftermath of the staggering attempted mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army, Wagner.
Speaking from his hospital bed after the Russian assault, Amin previously told how he had gone to Ukraine almost as soon as the war broke out in February 2022 and initially provided humanitarian support.
But as the fighting ramped up he began using the skills he had learned in the British military to train the Ukrainians, before eventually signing up as a soldier.
Amin and his unit were then attacked by Russian troops while patrolling the frontlines last October.
He described sheltering in a shallow trench alongside a Ukrainian comrade known as ‘the Professor’ as they were shelled.
He said: ‘[We were] helmet to helmet, hand in hand, as the artillery rounds just kept coming. The next thing I know I hear this almighty thud.
‘It felt like someone had dragged me underground. I just saw red. Professor’s body just went limp like a rag doll. He landed on top of me.
Amin pictured with another comrade on the front line after bravely returning to Ukraine. He arrives in Kherson just weeks after the Kakhovka dam was blown up – which both Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for
This screen grab from a video posted on Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Twitter account on June 6, 2023 shows an aerial view of the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station after it was partially destroyed
The Kherson region was devastated by floods after the destruction of Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant
‘At that point I knew I’d been hit. I thought, “I’m dead here. This is where I die.” So I accepted it. Professor was gone, I couldn’t get him off me.’
Amin recalled shouting to another comrade – Oleh Shumov, known as ‘Sham’ – to say that he was still alive and needed help.
He described how, despite still being under fire, Sham jumped out of his own trench and dragged the Professor’s body away.
It was then that Amin was confronted with the horrifying extent of his own injures: His right hand was hanging off at the wrist and a piece of shrapnel ‘the size of a tin can’ was embedded in his right leg.
Though he didn’t know it at the time, shrapnel had also found its way under his body armour and into his back, puncturing both lungs.
‘I pushed myself up and felt this almighty agony through my lungs, through my arm,’ he recalled.
Amin (pictured) also returns amid Ukraine’s counter-offensive and the aftermath of the staggering attempted mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army, Wagner
The British army veteran has returned to Ukraine amid Russia’s 16-month long invasion. Pictured: Amin in hospital left and his Ukrainian fiancee Helen Vitvickaja, right
‘All I had was my left arm. I had my belt kit around me, my body armour, everything on me. I don’t know how I got the strength to pull myself out of that ditch but I did.
‘As I did, I sort of rolled myself into a front crawl and could see this huge piece of shrapnel sticking out of my leg. It was like a tin can.
‘So I forced myself onto my back, and my commander pulled me away into some sort of cover as the rounds kept coming down.
‘It started to rain and I told my commander “you need to get me off these rocks, I’m lying on rocks here and I’m in agony.”
‘He says “you’re not on rocks mate, that’s the shrapnel that’s gone up through your body armour and into your back.”
‘He said “don’t worry, I don’t know how, but I’m going to get you out of here”.’
Shareef and Sham were soon rescued by Kozak Warrior armoured personnel vehicles and driven for 20 minutes to waiting ambulances and on to hospital.
Three pieces of shrapnel were removed from his body were sat in a glass jar next to his bedside while he recovered.
At one point, he recalled doctors standing over him and whispering that he wasn’t going to make it.
Shareef, who was awarded a Ukrainian bravery medal, said at the time: ‘I have no regrets. I couldn’t sit by.
‘If I sat at home on my laurels, despite having skills that can help, what kind of human being am I?’