These images show an American veteran volunteering as a soldier in Ukraine to fight against the Russians and saying “Welcome to America!” after pointing out one of Putin’s destroyed tanks.
The images were obtained by Newsflash early on Friday morning (25th March) from the Land Forces of Ukraine, which said that “American volunteers from the foreign legion in a village liberated from the orcs”, apparently making a reference to J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
The Land Forces of Ukraine added: “In the background, the occupiers’ tank burns beautifully.”
The images were reportedly filmed near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, with foreign fighters assisting Ukrainians in pushing back the Russians.
In the video, a first American soldier says: “I don’t know if you guys know what this is, but, I mean, that’s a Russian tank! A Russian tank that was taken out!”
The camera then pans to behind the soldier and indeed appears to show the charred remains of a tank.
The camera then pans back to the soldiers, with the person filming, apparently Ukrainian, saying: “Welcome to America!”
The American soldier replies: “Welcome to America!”
Chuckles can be heard as the footage ends.
The American soldier has been identified as James Vasquez, 47, of Connecticut, who is an army veteran and who runs a home improvement company. He also posted the footage to his own social media page and captioned it: “This village has been Russian occupied for a month, they terrorized the people and took their food. Today we entered, took out 7 tanks and countless Russians thus liberating these people.”
There are signs that Ukraine is beginning to go on the counteroffensive as NATO estimates that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian troops have now been killed. These numbers came a day after a man allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at the Kremlin in Moscow.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday (Thursday, 24th March): “Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line into barbarism.”
NATO met in Brussels yesterday for a crisis summit. The same day, the European Union met, also in Brussels, as did the G7.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “There is a new sense of urgency.
Because we cannot take peace for granted.”
He added: “From the start of this crisis, Europe and North America have stood together, united in NATO. And we remain united.”
Stoltenberg also said: “Opposing Russia’s aggression, supporting Ukraine, and protecting all Allies.”
The 30 NATO members condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”, called on Putin to stop his war and to withdraw his troops, and for Russia to “comply with the 16 March ruling by the UN International Court of Justice and immediately suspend military operations”.
The UN’s International Court of Justice has ruled Russia’s invasion of Ukraine illegal and has ordered Putin to remove his troops immediately. Former British Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Gordon Brown have called for the creation of a Nuremberg-style international tribunal to investigate Putin. And David Cameron has said: “Putin belongs in a war crimes tribunal.”
The proposal has been co-signed by numerous influential figures, including Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Benjamin Ferencz, who is 102 years old and who prosecuted Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg.