Royal Rambo: UK Media Spins Tales of MP’s Son Attacking Russian BTR, Saving Comrade in Ukraine
12:29 GMT 28.05.2022 (Updated: 13:54 GMT 28.05.2022)
Ben Grant, a former Royal Marines commando, private military contractor, and son of Conservative Party lawmaker Helen Grant, travelled to Ukraine in March. The Russian military has estimated that upwards of 7,000 mercenaries from more than 60 countries have made their way into the country since February.
The daring exploits of the son of former minister of state for sport and tourism, Helen Grant, in Ukraine have blown up in a series of reports in UK media after The Telegraph was given helmet cam footage showing Ben Grant running around a forest and assisting a Brit comrade injured by a landmine evacuate to safety.
“We’ve got to move now or we’re gonna die!” Grant yells in the video while dragging former British Army grenadier Dean Arthur in a wooded rural area outside Kharkov, eastern Ukraine. “Come on Deano! Last bit, keep going! Good man – you moved fast and well there brother”, Grant says.
After the injured mercenary receives a tourniquet, Grant assures “He’ll be alright, he’ll keep his leg. Yeah it was a good effort, nice and tight”.
The soldier is filmed helping Arthur to walk for several minutes before becoming exhausted, with Ukrainian troops wearing green armbands and “UKROP Battalion” insignia carrying him the rest of the way. UKROP is an ultranationalist political party
and paramilitary force reportedly funded by Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoysky.
Toward the end of the video, Grant exclaims “Hey, let’s go and get this tank”. After a soldier with an American flag patch approaches with an anti-tank weapon, the Brit asks “Alright where’s the road?” and proceeds to move along the path as some Ukrainians, seemingly aware that he is filming, moving aside. “Yeah bro, let’s do this”. He says. “Where’s the road? We’re gonna get the tank”, Grant says, at which point the footage cuts off.
The Telegraph says
it has 40 minutes of footage, but has only uploaded a 6 minute, 38 second-long version
Along with The Telegraph, Grant’s gallantry was picked up and reported on by other major British outlets, including Sky News, The Guardian, and The Mirror.
Additional footage from another fighter’s helmet cam has been posted to Twitter
, showing what is said to be an American merc firing a German-Israeli-made Matador anti-tank missile at a “Russian BTR” armoured transport. “Shoot it now!” Grant can be heard yelling in the background. After the missile is fired, the shorter video cuts to an aerial shot showing the round hitting the vehicle.
iNews, The Independent, and The Sun ran stories
on the latter incident, with i saying
it had “verified” the footage, and that the Western mercs had killed dozens of Russian troops during operations said to have taken place Thursday and Friday.
Grant was interviewed by The Telegraph, calling the “scary” experience of running through the forest with the injured Arthur “unreal” and saying he’d “never experienced anything like that in my life”. The merc said his 15-man unit was comprised of Brits and Americans, and two Ukrainian translators. He said the incident blew “half [of Arthur’s] leg off”.
Arthur also spoke to the paper, saying he was “was [a] really lucky boy at the end of the day” to get out of there and that “so many guys didn’t come back that day”.
The pair of videos are the first time Grant has been mentioned in media reports since early March, when he was filmed
at a train station in Lvov, western Ukraine lapping up
the attention of the cameras and explaining his motivations.
Grant, 30, previously worked as a private security contractor in Iraq, and is said to have served as a Royal Marine for five years.
The Russian military has repeatedly warned foreigners
against travelling to Ukraine to fight, saying the rules of warfare do not apply to them. On Friday, the Donetsk People’s Republic’s Prosecutor General’s Office announced that it had completed its investigation into a criminal case against a group of mercs from Britain and Morocco, and said the fighters could face the death penalty
for their unlawful acts against the republic.
Last month, UK Minister of State for Europe and North America James Cleverly called on
Russia to give “foreign volunteers” the same rights that are granted to Ukrainian Armed Forces troops who are taken prisoner.
Also in April, Andrew Hill, one of the British nationals facing the death penalty in the DPR, urged his fellow countrymen to think twice before joining Ukraine’s foreign legions, saying “you really have to think about it”, that this conflict “does not involve us”, and revealing that repeated promises of payment for his services were never honoured.