A US Army veteran and acting student with the New York Film Academy revealed Wednesday that he has taken up arms against the Russians in his homeland of Ukraine — and is ready to die fighting.
“I am not scared of death. … I think I’m ready,” said Miro Popovich, who served in Afghanistan during his nearly four years as a US Army mortarman, to CNN from his car in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
“I’m ready to give this sacrifice,” he said.
After an honorable discharge from the US military, the 32-year-old decided to attempt a total lifestyle change by studying acting at the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy.
“After my discharge, I never thought that I’d see war again … and now here I am doing the same thing again,” he told CNN.
“But this time it’s my home — they’re invading my home, so I have to do this,” he said. “We have to defend it, and we’ll do anything — anything — to stop it.”
Popovich had told Rolling Stone magazine that he came to the US at age 19 after winning a Green Card lottery. He was already in Kyiv, where his parents still live, when Russian troops invaded.
He immediately decided to use his combat experience to help his homeland’s effort, even though — as he jokes with his new fellow fighters — he “could have been in Santa Monica, [Calif.], drinking smoothies.”
He said he is “ready to fight” and expects a full-on assault on Kyiv, the city “where I went to school, where I had my first kiss, first love.”
“I think pretty soon [the Russians are] going to circle Kyiv and they’re gonna try to go inside. And that’s when we’re gonna come and do our thing,” he told CNN.
“It’s gonna be really hard for them. Kyiv is a very big city, and we have the advantage of it being our city — we know every single street here, every single building. … Everything’s gonna be against them.
“It’s gonna be like a dog fight … We’re gonna give them hell, I promise you that,” he said.
“We’re fighting for our freedom.
“We’re gonna fight till the end. Whatever happens at the end, we’re going to fight till that moment.”