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British ex-army sniper Christopher ‘Pezz’ Perryman, 38, is killed in Ukraine after volunteering to fight Putin’s forces – as sister pays tribute to ‘true hero’


A British ex-army sniper has been killed in Ukraine after volunteering to fight for Putin‘s forces. 

Christopher ‘Pezz’ Perryman, 38, died on a mission after he joined a unit of Western volunteers in Ukraine.

His death comes just months after he made an eerie prediction about his fate.

Perryman posted on social media in April: ‘Beware an old man in a profession where men die young.’

The father of one from Country Durham had served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 1st Battalion for 16 years, including tours in Kosovo and Iraq

Christopher 'Pezz' Perryman, 38, died on a mission after he joined a unit of Western volunteers in Ukraine

Christopher ‘Pezz’ Perryman, 38, died on a mission after he joined a unit of Western volunteers in Ukraine

Perryman in Ukraine. He posted on social media in April: 'Beware an old man in a profession where men die young'

Perryman in Ukraine. He posted on social media in April: ‘Beware an old man in a profession where men die young’

He made his first trip to Lviv in western Ukraine shortly after the February 24 invasion.

He initially aimed to train Ukrainian troops, but he joined the front line in the south east of the country after a commander said they were in urgent need of fighters. 

He was part of a unit of foreign volunteers fighting for weeks alongside troops form Ukraine to defend a vital bridge across the Southern Bug river between Odessa and Mykolaiv using anti-tank weapons supplied by the UK to destroy Russian armour. 

He travelled to the war-ravaged south-east of the country to take up arms on the front line after a local commander told him they were ‘desperate’ for fighters, joining a reconnaissance team and then a battalion of marines. 

Tributes have flooded in for the father, who leaves behind his 11-year-old son.

A fellow volunteer who was working on the operation that saw Perryman killed told i: ‘Pezz is a big loss for everyone.’

His sister wrote on social media: ‘Last night our hearts were shattered and our world torn apart. We lost Pezz Perryman.

‘He died a true hero, fighting a war that was never his to fight, I don’t think we as a family will ever get over this. He went to Ukraine to help others, and it cost him his life.’

Another person wrote: ‘A true gent & without doubt epitomised the ‘Best of British’ fighting for the right reasons in a foreign land.

‘Now an eternal hero. My deepest condolences to his close family and friends. He would give you the clothes off his back,& literally gave me his bed.’

The British volunteer, originally from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, worked as a security guard defending HS2 from eco protesters.

But after the invasion of Ukraine, Perryman, who had previously served in Iraq, decided to leave his job and join the conflict.

Perryman in Ukraine. The father of one from Country Durham had served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 1st Battalion for 16 years, including tours in Kosovo and Iraq

Perryman in Ukraine. The father of one from Country Durham had served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 1st Battalion for 16 years, including tours in Kosovo and Iraq 

Perryman returned to the UK following an injury in 2022 but came back to Ukraine and joined another unit of Western volunteers taking part in speedboat missions along the Dnipro River.

His team helped to liberate villages held by Russia as Kherson was recaptured by Ukraine’s troops.

Russian troops control territory on the eastern bank of the major Dnipro river dissecting region. The city of Kherson and Ukrainian-held areas on the western bank come under regular Russian shelling, facing numerous air alerts throughout the day.

Speaking to the i last year Perryman said he felt ‘sick to the pit of my stomach’ seeing Russian forces targeting civilians.

He said: ‘I always vowed that I would do what I could in my life to stop bullies.

‘Yes, I signed an oath of allegiance to defend the Queen and Britain, but my oath doesn’t just stop with defending my country. I signed an oath to defend the weak and the needy and people who need help.

‘In Ukraine, we were fighting every day for all of those people getting killed every day unnecessarily. It does give you a reason to fight harder.’

At least 11 British nationals have lost their lives fighting in Ukraine. 

In August, British volunteer Samuel Newey, 22, was killed fighting alongside Ukrainian forces. 

His brother Daniel posted on social media: ‘My little brother Sam was killed in action yesterday in Eastern Ukraine. I cannot put into words how broken I feel.

‘Sam you gave your life for people you never knew and acted with courage, morality and honour.’

Newey, from Solihull, had just turned 21 when he decided to fight in Ukraine. 



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