US volunteer in Ukraine says he’s so close to action he can ‘smell Russians’

A US volunteer in Ukraine has described the hell of the fronline, saying that he is so close to the action that he can "smell Russians".

Former US Army staff sergeant James Vasquez, 45, arrived in Ukraine in April to fight against Vladimir Putin's Russian invaders.

He's now in the thick of it, and took to Twitter on April 30 to describe the apocalyptic scenes he and other fighters have to endure, most likely in the east of Ukraine, Russia.

"No base to go back to. You’re in the shit. Mortars all around day and night, no bathroom, no shower nothing. So close to the front I can smell Russians," he said.

Vasquez, who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, was explaining the difference between fighting in Kyiv and his new post, outside the capital.

"At my new duty station. This is definitely roughing it. Lots of mortar fire. The fresh air has been replaced with the smell of gunpowder," the father-of-four said.

A few weeks ago, Vasquez bemoaned the state of the weaponry that his unit has had to put up with, saying in a now deleted tweet that "we will not win with trash weapons."

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"Give us some f****** weapons please. We will not win with trash weapons. We need m-16’s M-4’s, ACOG’s, red dots, ammunition, ammunition, ammunition, javelins, f****** old AT-4s I know are probably in some storage unit.

"Frag grenades, and if not… may as well bring Body bags," the full tweet read.

After arriving in Warsaw on March 14, Mr Vasquez joined up with the Foreign Legion and appears to have been in the thick of the fighting ever since.

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In early April he claimed that Russian soldiers had been abandoning their dead to the mercy of wild dogs.

He said: "Russians refuse to take their dead. Their fallen soldiers are left to be eaten by stray dogs.

"Another example of pieces of s****. Americans would never leave a man or corpse behind."

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