Giuseppe Misuraca was not even old enough to recall the last time he was in Ukraine but he is returning to his country of birth to fight.
Giuseppe was only three years old when he left an orphanage in the Donbas region following the deaths of his parents.
He was adopted by a Sicilian family and has lived in Italy his whole life, but says that he still feels “100% Ukrainian” and has always wanted to visit his home country.
Now, he is returning to Ukraine for the first time in 25 years to fight alongside fellow Ukrainians against Russian forces.
“I can’t just wait at home and watch television and do nothing to help my fellow citizens,” he told Euronews.
“I know I may be killed because there’s war and bombardments. I think it’s something to do with my DNA and my Ukrainian side”.
“When I said goodbye to my dad at the airport I told him I promise I will be back. But if I don’t come back please remember I have loved you so much even if you are not my biological parents”.
Ukrainian border officials say 215,000 citizens have returned to their country since the war began two weeks ago. Around 80% are reported to be men between the ages of 18 and 60.
Giuseppe applied to be a foreign fighter and says he, too, is ready to join the local army to defend his native country’s territory.
His journey back to Ukraine began in Milan, where he met Dorin Bzovi, a driver who has been travelling between Italy and Ukraine since the war began.
“Carrying people back and forth while bringing essential goods into the country is what I am good at,” Dorin told Euronews.
“If they tell me they need be on the frontline I’ll go and fight,” he added.
“Many have joined the army but someone has to provide these items. People need these goods, without food these men would not be able to fight”.
On their journey to Ukraine, Giuseppe and Dorin were also joined by two other women, who have left Italy to offer their help to Kyiv.
“I am ready to take up arms if necessary,” one said, “I am not scared”.
Click on the player above to watch Giuseppe’s journey back to Ukraine.