LONDON: An Afghanistan-born commander in the Ukrainian army has received praise from social media users on Monday after the BBC released a video report showcasing his bravery.
Jalal Noory, an Afghan refugee in Ukraine, is commanding a unit of 12 soldiers defending Kyiv in the war against Russia.
“Jalal Noory, an Afghan refugee, is commanding Ukrainian troops,” tweeted Chris Blackburn, a political analyst in the UK. “I’m not sure how I feel. I’m glad he’s an inspiration to Ukraine and is also an asset to the Afghan people. But it’s also a sign of the times. Conflict is spreading.”
Jalal Noory, an Afghan refugee, is commanding Ukrainian troops.
I'm not sure how I feel. I'm glad he's an inspiration to Ukraine and is also an asset to the Afghan people. But it's also a sign of the times. Conflict is spreading.
— Chris Blackburn (@CJBdingo25) July 11, 2022
Noory moved to Ukraine with his parents in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The conflict forced millions of people to leave the country and led to decades of instability in the region.
“If Russians hadn’t invaded Afghanistan, we would have had a better life,” Noory said. “I wouldn’t be a refugee in Ukraine. I would be in Afghanistan.”
Almost 25 years later, Noory witnessed a similar invasion in his adoptive country, prompting him to leave his job in security and join the Ukrainian army.
“I did not want to surrender and see a Russian flag over my head,” he said. “I had two options: To defend or die.
“Back in Afghanistan I was underage, and as a child, I had to follow my parents. But this time I knew I’d defend Ukraine because it’s my home.”
Social media users applauded Noory’s bravery, with some tweeting messages of support and praise.
“This man is a warrior,” one Instagram user said, while another commented “Respect.”