In conflict, the view around you is rarely clear.

It’s bad enough being a local civilian caught up in war while living in your own community. Coming into that same war as a soldier has it’s pitfalls too for obvious reasons…you’re there to fight your “enemy.”

But to come into a war as an individual, whether a “mercenary” fighter, humanitarian, private security adviser (just looking to give advice to someone…anyone) or freelance journalist…you’re all walking in completely blind.

Most no matter the profession, will seek a local hire to be the eyes and ears and interpreter in order to help you on your way. Simply by doing that, you are dragging yet another individual into danger.

As if the wars of the last 20 years haven’t been bloody enough, with one side’s technology versus devastating bloody improvisation, we’ve seen on our screens Ukraine’s war is already the bloodiest of them all. How many Ukrainians and Russians are dying, wasting away or running away each day? Well we don’t really know because no one is really able to count accurately, we can only have estimates. Not only are there mass shallow graves being constructed where possible, but there are bodies lying in the streets for stray dogs to feed from. People eating snow because that’s all that’s available. Munitions being dropped on civilians against International law. Do you really think that if you go there as an individual and get yourself in the shit anyone on the ground will really care? I guarantee that as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months every individual moving out there will be a big target. Trauma, hunger, hatred, survival will all take it’s toll, and pretty soon no one will be thinking rationally.

International law, ha ha ha…. Please tell me a war where International law was obeyed throughout by all of the sides fighting! When I was a soldier many moons ago, the only people adhering to International law was ourselves…one hand tied behind our backs while fighting an enemy using both hands. That’s not to suggest of course that we fight the same way as our enemy. We hoped that at least once the war was over that our enemy’s leadership got taken to account, but that rarely happened.

I would argue that given the participating parties in this war, that it will become the closest of complete disasters in the last 80 years. That’s some disaster given Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen et all.

So after 3 weeks or so since the latest war began reminding me of all that I’ve seen on film and read about of the scenes from WW2 at their bloodiest and most disgusting, we still have Western individuals joining and “wandering” around the battle grounds like headless chickens, no matter their “professional” reason for being there.

Again on the current death toll, how many Westerners have been killed, wounded or captured/kidnapped? Well again, we don’t really know, and we’ll probably only get a handle on it long after the war has ended (if not escalating into the rest of Europe), when only known individuals who have stepped into the war don’t step back out again.

Please…don’t go!

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized6 Comments


  1. I personally think the more involvement by non indigenous, the more chance things will go wrong. Right now everyone in power is looking at the other side to slip up and the whole thing turns into a shit storm.
    I feel for the Ukrainian people but they are the only people who can save the day. They either capitulate or run the Russians down. We can only hope that the Russians don’t escalate the situation, Chemical or Nuclear weapons. However I feel that’s just around the corner should things start going south for Putin. I’m hoping of an internal coupe that Putin is double tapped by his own protection bringing a speedy end. Then we and every Nuclear country to dis-arm so this madness can never go further ever again. Wishful think but bullying others because of what you have is beyond bad.
    Putin is now in a position that no matter what, he’s going to the gallows. There’s no winning in any war just devastation and lots of little people dying as the chess players gain or lose assets.

  2. All common sense, but when was that listened to? Keep up the good work Bob, if just a few take note then you have done what you can.

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