Ex-British Army sniper says Taliban were better fighters than inept Russians

An ex-British Army sniper who saw first-hand the "atrocities" committed in Ukraine said the Taliban were better fighters than the "inept" invading Russian military.

Shane Matthew, 34, branded Vladimir Putin's war machine "humiliating to watch" as soldiers were poorly trained and had no tactical awareness, while allegedly being high on drugs and booze on the frontline.

The retired sniper said: "I found it to be humiliating to witness. The Taliban were better at fighting than the Russians, regardless of the cause, militarily, they seemingly have no tactical training, if they did possess it, they certainly did not use it."

He also claimed he saw evidence of "genocidal war crimes" committed by Kremlin forces, with streets "littered with dead bodies" and children shot in the head with their hands bound.

Mr Matthew, from Chichester, West Sussex, was a Lance Corporal with the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, and said journalists and medical units were forced to hide their badges to avoid being deliberately targeted by Russians.

Mr Matthew was on the outskirts of Bucha, but primarily operated in neighbouring Irpin that – like Bucha – also saw heavy Russian shelling and allegations of war crimes.

Mr Matthew told how captured Russian soldiers during the first few days of his time in the war-ravaged country thought they were on training exercises in Belarus when they crossed the Ukrainian border into an onslaught of petrol bombs.

He also said Russian forces were chaotically organised and were out-manoeuvred by the Ukrainian guerrilla tactics.

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The former soldier, who went to Ukraine with medical supplies at the start of last month, said: "The tactical ability, equipment used by and the skill of the Russian forces, was humiliating to watch.

"Their equipment is outdated and beyond use, their supply lines were organised in such a frantic, non-tactical and disastrous fashion that it beggars belief they were even coordinated by the military in the first place.

"The fighting ability of the units we encountered was non-existent, they had no capability to counter assaults effectively, were disorganised and completely inept at withdrawal under fire, had no coordination under fire and lacked any form of command and control."

He added that he saw "prolific evidence of drug and alcohol abuse" by the Russians, which he said showed further "a lack of professionalism and complete disregard for their own operation security."

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Mr Matthew claimed he saw evidence of war crimes and said the atrocities he witnessed were worse in any other war zone he visited – including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

He added: "In my 15 years of working in war zones I have never been witness to such indiscriminate killing, indiscriminate shelling and indiscriminate targeting of non-military targets.

"The actions undertaken by the Russian forces in Bucha appear to me to be nothing short of genocidal war crimes, those who carried out these actions should be held to account, if they are still alive."

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