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US Army veteran: Fighting in Ukraine ‘more dangerous than Afghanistan was’

Ukrainian soldiers chat in the front-line position close to Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Associated Press/Efrem Lukatsky
Ukrainian soldiers chat in the front-line position close to Kharkiv, Ukraine on Saturday, March 26, 2022. With the invasion now in its second month, Russian forces have seemingly stalled on many fronts and are even losing previously taken ground to Ukrainian counterattacks, including around Kyiv.

A U.S. Army veteran volunteering to fight in Ukraine for its army said Wednesday that the conflict between the country and Russia is “more dangerous than Afghanistan.”  

During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” U.S. Army veteran Miro Popovich told host Jim Sciutto that Russian forces have completely underestimated their Ukrainian counterparts during the invasion.

“So they came here and they expect to get it done in three or four days. Well, you know what? I told you that there are a lot of civilian casualties outside of Kyiv, there are also a lot of Russian casualties as well,” Popovich told Sciutto. 

“Which for us is a good thing to see our military completely wipe them off. I tell you honestly, I am surprised. I was not … I did not think that it’s our military is so capable. But you know, we showed resilience, we showed that we are strong and capable.” 

The State Department warned Americans who volunteer in the fight to defend Ukraine that they may face capture by Russian forces and possible death.

Popovich told Sciutto that people should “think twice” before joining the fight, noting that Russian forces are capable of creating more damage. 

Popovich, who is of Ukrainian descent, served a tour during the American war in Afghanistan and was a college student before he joined Ukrainian forces amid the Russian invasion.

The war has continued for more than two months, and Ukraine alleged that Russia has continued to engage in war crimes, including the killing and rape of civilians. Five million refugees have fled the country since the war began on Feb. 24.

“It’s more dangerous than Afghanistan was because right here we have to deal with their artillery, with their tanks, with their missiles. It’s — it can become pretty hard and pretty dangerous here,” Popovich said. 

“So if you want to come here, think twice. I’m not saying it’s a suicide mission. But I’m saying that there is a big chance that you can get damage you can get killed or you can get captured. So just think twice, and if you want to come here, thank you.” 

Tags CNN Jim Sciutto Kyiv Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine
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