‘I am not afraid’: Ex-Romanian soldier going to Ukraine to rescue mother-in-law from Russian invasion

Daniel Cojoc, 50, who plans to drive to Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea in the west of the country, told LondonWorld: “I am not afraid. To die is very easy.”

A former Romanian soldier now living in Britain has said he is “not afraid” of going into a warzone as he prepares to rescue his mother-in-law from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He added: “You go down the stairs, step on something, trip, break your neck and die.

“But it’s harder to help someone.”

From left, Tatiana Orzherevskaya, with two of her grandchildren, her son-in-law, Daniel Cojac, and daughter Natalia. Photo: Supplied

It comes as Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky have sent delegates to talks on the Belarusian border - including on calls for a ceasefire.

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But expectations of success in the negotiations are understood to be low.

Mr Cojoc told LondonWorld: “I’m from Romania. In my military service, I participated in the revolution of Romania, with my guns.

"After this, I was working on cruise ships including the Orient Queen, which was under the Lebanese flag at the time of the 2006 war in Lebanon between the Israelis and the Lebanese.

"I participated in the evacuation of the British and American citizens from Lebanon to Cyprus."

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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian leader Vladimir Putin (right). Photo: Getty

While Mr Cojoc previously told LondonWorld his wife’s mother was dealing with shelling and sirens in Odessa.

“For the moment it’s not so bad but my mother-in-law is running down to her basement every 30 minutes to an hour because of sirens,” he said.

But he warned that Ukrainians fleeing the conflict feared their properties being looted and possessions stolen.

“I’m waiting on my mother-in-law and my wife to decide what to do,” Mr Cojoc, who also plans to rescue his friend’s wife and child from Ukraine if he is able to travel there, said.

“The problem is that a lot of thieves have appeared and are going inside of the houses and stealing everything if they see that no one is living there.

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“She has said she is afraid to leave now.”

While he stressed the importance of standing up to Putin, saying: “It’s our way to live so we need to do something."

President Zelensky has called for foreigners to help Ukrainians fight to defend their country.

It is not known how many people have answered his call.