Brit tourist in Ukraine says he’s prepared for worst – even ‘losing limb or two’

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Miles Routledge, a British 'danger tourist' found his way into Ukraine despite the ongoing conflict with Vladimir Putin's soldiers – and he's prepared himself for the worst, even if it means 'losing a limb'.

The Kremlin instructed the Russian military to break through the borders to invade their neighbouring country after rising tensions surrounding Ukraine potentially joining NATO on Thursday, (February 24).

Despite the war, Miles, from Birmingham, West Mids, found himself entering Ukraine via the last train from Poland and claims his documents were not checked, instantly being allowed entry to the country.

Now, he claims that a bad scenario that could come out of his experience is being unable to work and potentially claiming benefits, in the event he is affected by the damage and loses a limb.

Speaking in a bomb shelter underneath a hotel, he told the Daily Star: "If I want to be cynical, I'm quite religious, I'm a Catholic if I die, hopefully, I'll go to heaven and if I'm wrong and it's blackness, that's not my issue anymore.

"If that doesn't happen and I'm alive, that's good stuff, if I lose a limb or two I can claim benefits, I guess."

Despite travelling to conflict zones including Afghanistan, Miles claims he was worried ahead of his visit to the European war zone, adding: "I got worried they wouldn't let me in, there was a rumour that any male may be forcefully conscripted, so I thought I'd be thrown into the army.

"If something went wrong and I landed in Ukraine and suddenly everything popped off at once, that would have been the worst-case scenario."

Since arriving in the country, he explained that he's witnessed devastating scenes, saying: "I've seen a dog with basically half its head missing but that was in the northern bit when I went exploring.

"I'm not sure what happened there, if something had popped off or if it was Russian soldiers."

Despite finding shelter in a hotel, he says: "The streets are completely empty, you only get the occasional person, there's a curfew of 5pm, so it's very difficult, it's the first curfew through til Monday so people are not too sure what to make of it.

"People are being very friendly in the shelter, they're transporting mattresses around, people are handing out water, it's very nice, very good people."

However, the news about the Home Office not helping Brits return from Ukraine doesn't phase Miles, he said: "If I need to get out, I'll do it on my own terms and I'll do it without any help, I don't want to be that guy that puts a drain on resources.

"If something happens, I've got some contacts, some friends that are going over and joining the military, they can help out.

"I'll just make my own way on foot because all transport links are cut off."

Miles, however, doesn't believe that the British military should be assisting in Ukraine unless soldiers volunteer to do so.

"It should be a voluntary thing, I think the UK should help people that want to go over but if they don't, that's absolutely fine," he said.

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