Armed and ready to fight: The Brits training for the frontline in Ukraine
Paul Brand reports on the Brits who are travelling to Ukraine to fight Russian forces
Two Brits who have left behind their lives in England and travelled to Ukraine to join the fight against Russia, say they are prepared to face "any consequences" to protect "innocent people".
Mark, 21, and Simon, 22 - not their real names - have signed up to the Georgian Legion - an international army of volunteers being drawn from across the world, organised by Georgians, to help the Ukrainian resistance.
In the first video interview from inside the GL training camp, the two young men with no military experience told ITV News they are armed and ready to fight, even though they could face prosecution on their return to the UK.
Simon, from north-west England, said he has "made peace" with the idea he may face criminal proceedings back home.
But he believes the UK should back his decision and pointed to comments made recently by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who said she "absolutely" supports Brits who want to help Ukrainian forces.
Simon told ITV News: "Well, I was actually stopped in the airport trying to fly out here by the counter terror police. They stopped me boarding my flight - said they'll have negotiators getting in touch with me to try and help me to leave Ukraine etc.
"I told them I don't care."
"If that is my fate, then that is my fate. I'll be proud regardless" - Simon speaks to ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand from the GL training camp
"So possibly when I go home, they're going to arrest me. I don't know if they'll charge me but the UK's situation is they say they support us," he added.
"Liz - I don't know her second name, the foreign secretary - she says she supports British citizens going over to fight but how they deal with that, the laws could change any day.
"We could wake up tomorrow morning and there could be a terror risk. If that's how the UK see things, we don't know yet. I'm prepared to take any consequences."
When asked if he was worried about those consequences, he insisted he and the legion are "protecting innocent people" and are "not out here blowing things up like the Russians," who he described as "terrorists".
ITV News gained exclusive footage of training sessions undertaken by foreign recruits inside the GL camp:
"So I'm not too worried about that you know, this is something that I've had to come to peace with before I flew out," Simon continued.
"I've accepted this. If that is my fate, then that is my fate.
"I'll be proud regardless."
The pair took the decision after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for foreign volunteers to go to his country and form an "international legion", promising them arms to fight against the Russian troops.
When ITV News asked the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) if Brits travelling to Ukraine to fight would face prosecution, a spokesperson said: "We advise against travel to Ukraine and anyone who travels to conflict zones to engage in unlawful activity, should expect to be investigated upon their return to the UK.”
However, they did not clarify what would be considered "unlawful activity".
Mark - not his real name - from the West Midlands, gave up his job in the UK and joined the GL a week ago.
He said he is willing to stay out there for "as long as it takes" to stop the "war of the West" - admitting that could be months, or even years.
When it was suggested that he had made a big sacrifice, he replied: "It's little in comparison to the sacrifice these people are making just to get to safety, which they shouldn't have to be making."
"It's not just the Ukrainians' war, it's a war of the West. Where does it stop after this?" - Mark speaks to ITV News a week after joining the legion
Mark, who has no military experience, said he has been armed and would be willing to pull the trigger on a Russian soldier if his life depended on it.
"If push comes to shove and it's my life on the line, or my brother's next to me, and that is the option, then yeah," he said.
"Any training that normal military will go through, we are going through day-to-day and there are a lot of guys here with experience, so they're really looking out for us," he added.
Mark also admitted that lethal force is "on the table" if that is the only way to stop Russians attacking civilians and remove them from the country.
"It's an illegal war and thousands of civilians are dying, and it's not just the Ukrainians' war, it's a war of the West," he said.
"Where does it stop after this? Does it stop in Ukraine? Or will they go to Moldova?
"They're trying to re-form the USSR. It's completely wrong."
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