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Featured Image Credit: Alamy/CBC
Known as ‘Wali’, the French-Canadian marksman reportedly crossed the border from Poland into Ukraine, having left his wife and child behind in Canada to answer President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's call for foreign fighters to join the resistance.
Wali, 40, whose real name is unknown, sharpened his sniper skills during a 12-year career in the Canadian Army.
According to Toronto’s Globe and Mail, in 2017 he reportedly shattered a world record for longest kill by shooting an ISIS militant from more than two miles away.
Now, he’s using his skills to help Ukrainian fighters, telling DailyMail.com in a recent phone interview: “I don't like the idea of shooting anyone. But when the time comes to squeeze the trigger I won't hesitate.
“If Putin really wants Kyiv he is going to have to pay a huge price. Nobody wants the Russians here and everyone will resist.
“The damage we can do to them will be crazy. They will lose so many lives it will become another Stalingrad.”
The outlet revealed that the sniper is situated in an unknown location on the outskirts of Kyiv, ready with a .338 rifle.
As Russian forces close in on the capital, Wali warned: “This is a huge, built-up city, not some village.
“Looking out from where I am now I can see so many structures and buildings to shoot from, so many places to hide weapons and launch ambushes from.
“They won't know what has hit them.
“The Russians have already failed to take Kharkiv and Mariupol, which are smaller cities. There is no way they can hold on to Kyiv. It will be better for everyone if they decide not to attack.”
Wali has been praised for his bravery, having left behind his fiancée, one-year-old son and a job as an IT programmer to join the Ukrainian resistance.
Speaking about his partner, Wali said: “She was very afraid, she said 'we need you here, your son needs you'.
“But eventually she calmed down and she said 'ok, do your duty but please be safe, don't take any risks'.
“There were a lot of emotions as I left. You don't know when you're going to be back, or whether you're even going to make it back.
“But I know I have a duty to my family as well as to the world, I won't stay here any longer than I have to.
“The saddest thing for me was missing my son's birthday celebration. I watched a few minutes over the phone. I was here in the dark, in an abandoned building with my flashlight – it felt like I was on a different planet to them.”
In an earlier interview with CBC News, he said he was overwhelmed by the warm welcome given to him by Ukrainian people.
"They were so happy to have us," he said. "It's like we were friends right away."
The Canadian soldier, who did a stint as a foreign fighter with the Kurdish forces battling Islamic State extremists in Iraq, said he couldn't sit back and do nothing.
"I want to help them. It's as simple as that," he said.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.