British student rescued from Kabul after going on holiday to Afghanistan is planning trip to Ukraine


A thrill-seeking British student who had to be evacuated from Kabul after he went there on holiday as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in August is planning to travel to Ukraine. 

Miles Routledge, 21, told MailOnline he hoped to go to Kharkiv, Donetsk and Crimea, all of which the Foreign Office advised against travelling to.

Ukraine is on the brink of war with Conservative MP Tobias Elwood saying a Russian invasion was ‘imminent’.

Mr Routledge, from Birmingham, admitted it was ‘self-destructive behaviour’ but joked he had only bought a one-way flight to save money in case he died.

He told MailOnline: ‘I’ve been to Ukraine before so I’m hoping to see something new. 

‘I want to see the war. I want to see the feelings of both sides, their opinions and hopefully I’ll see the critical point of the conflict, if it is to come.’

Miles Routledge, 21, told MailOnline he hoped to go to Ukraine, which is on the brink of war as Russia seems set to invade

Mr Routledge has spent time in Kazakhstan (pictured), South Sudan and Afghanistan

Mr Routledge has spent time in Kazakhstan (pictured), South Sudan and Afghanistan

The youngster has been to Ukraine before, when he visited Chernobyl

He told MailOnline: 'I’ve been Ukraine before so I’m hoping to see something new'

The youngster has been to Ukraine before, when he visited Chernobyl. He told MailOnline: ‘I’ve been Ukraine before so I’m hoping to see something new’

Mr Routledge had to be evacuated from Kabul after he went there on holiday as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in Augus

Mr Routledge had to be evacuated from Kabul after he went there on holiday as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban in Augus

The former Loughborough physics student dismissed people who disapprove of him travelling to dangerous places.

He said: ‘I’d say I wish them all the best but truthfully they were never my audience and for every seething comment made against me, behind it was my friends and I eating popcorn and laughing at them. 

‘I’ll continue to travel regardless of their opinions, I’ll even go back to Afghanistan and there’s nothing they can do about it.’

Mr Routledge says he came across two armed convoys during the Taliban insurgency, and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements

Mr Routledge says he came across two armed convoys during the Taliban insurgency, and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements

Members of the Ukrainian army inspect the vehicles entering and leaving the city at the points they strengthen with concrete blocks, on January 23, in Kostiantynivka, Ukraine

Members of the Ukrainian army inspect the vehicles entering and leaving the city at the points they strengthen with concrete blocks, on January 23, in Kostiantynivka, Ukraine

A service member of the Ukrainian armed forces walks at combat positions near the line of separation from Russian-backed rebels near Horlivka in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on January 22

A service member of the Ukrainian armed forces walks at combat positions near the line of separation from Russian-backed rebels near Horlivka in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, on January 22

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, on January 18, 2022

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, on January 18, 2022

Mr Routledge has also been in war-torn South Sudan (pictured) according to his Twitter profile

Mr Routledge has also been in war-torn South Sudan (pictured) according to his Twitter profile

The Birmingham youngster was invited to the country by a Sudanese local who followed his escapades in Afghanistan. He spent several weeks hiking in Uganda before crossing into Kenya to visit a fan

The Birmingham youngster was invited to the country by a Sudanese local who followed his escapades in Afghanistan. He spent several weeks hiking in Uganda before crossing into Kenya to visit a fan

Mr Routledge previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May 2021 saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine

Mr Routledge previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May 2021 saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine

He said he was hoping to arrive in Lviv, western Ukraine, on Thursday, after a flight from Luton via Gdańsk, Poland.  

The Foreign Office advised against all travel to Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea yesterday. 

It advised against all but essential travel to the rest of Ukraine and urged British people to register their presence in Ukraine. 

Mr Routledge wrote on Twitter: ‘The flight to Ukraine is cheap as chips. I’ll also be applying for a Russian visa in the meantime, just in case Russia visits me in Ukraine.’ 

Mr Routledge will fly to Lviv on Thursday before travelling to Kharkiv, Donestsk and Crimea

Mr Routledge will fly to Lviv on Thursday before travelling to Kharkiv, Donestsk and Crimea

The Foreign Office has advised against travel to the whole of Ukraine, in particular Crimea and Donetsk

The Foreign Office has advised against travel to the whole of Ukraine, in particular Crimea and Donetsk

He said he avoided Covid isolation rules by claiming he was an ‘essential journalist with regular international work’. 

Mr Routledge, who wears a large silver cross around his neck, has said took ‘supplies’ to rural communities while he was in South Sudan and handed out cash to people in the streets. 

The African country has been ravaged by civil war and violence since becoming independent in 2011.

Combat training sessions with personnel of formations and military units of the Guards Tank Army of the Western Military District in the Moscow Region on January 12

Combat training sessions with personnel of formations and military units of the Guards Tank Army of the Western Military District in the Moscow Region on January 12

Russia conducted military drills with tanks and explosives in an attempted show of strength

Russia conducted military drills with tanks and explosives in an attempted show of strength

A Russian tank T-72B3 fires as troops take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia, less than 70 miles from the Ukrainian frontier, on January 12

A Russian tank T-72B3 fires as troops take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia, less than 70 miles from the Ukrainian frontier, on January 12

He was previously evacuated from Kabul after he went to Afghanistan ‘because it was dangerous’.  

Mr Routledge has previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

In posts to message board site 4chan and live streaming platform Twitch, he claims he was quizzed by armed Taliban militants while on his way to Kabul International Airport. 

They apparently asked him where he was from – to which he said Wales. He claims the fighters did not know where Wales was, and let him go. Mr Routledge says he later came across another armed convoy during the Taliban insurgency and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements. 

According to UK defence experts, Vladimir Putin is on the brink of invading Ukraine for a second time – having sent troops into the country’s eastern regions and Crimea in 2014.

His apparent intention is to prevent Ukraine joining Nato, the defensive alliance led by the US and the UK. As a precursor to conflict he issued a set of demands which he surely knew would be rejected, including the withdrawal of Nato troops from all former Soviet republics. 

Around 100,000 Russian troops are positioned in striking distance of Ukraine and in recent days military hospitals have been built – often an indicator conflict is imminent.

President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson have agreed a package of ‘unprecedented’ economic sanctions against Russia in the event of war.  

Ukraine doesn’t belong to Nato so there will be no military response, at least not officially. 

Any military assistance provided by the UK or US will be covert and deniable.Putin wants to force a favourable diplomatic settlement. 

He may be able to do so if he restricts his offensive to the eastern regions already occupied by pro-Russian separatists. 

He could then call for that region to become independent from the rest of Ukraine, just as Crimea is.



Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply