Cambridge University fresher joining Ukraine frontline vows to carry on studying remotely
A University of Cambridge student who has gone to join Ukraine's army has said he will continue to study and even take exams remotely from his war-torn country.
Nikolai Nizalov, 19, a university fresher from the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, moved to the UK in 2013.
He drove to his home country two weeks ago to join a nine-man volunteer platoon, where he will work mainly as a medic, in the face of the Russian invasion.
Nizalov is living at a friend's house in the western city of Lviv, and plans to travel to the capital Kyiv next week to help those in need.
The natural sciences undergraduate said he will continue to watch his lectures when term begins again next month.
He vowed to stay in Ukraine "until we win".
He said: "I've brought my lectures with me that I need to watch. I'll try to keep up with them with the little spare time I have. I might sit my exam in May remotely.
"Ideally I'll come back for second year in October but I'm not going to leave until we win.
"Even if I don't get a great mark this year I can apply for special permission to get into next year."
His platoon is made up of Ukrainian volunteers up to their 30s, some of whom have military experience.
Nizalov will be given a rifle for his own protection despite having no combat experience.
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He played in a varsity water polo match against the University of Oxford just days before setting off to Ukraine.
"I feel much calmer here," he said. "When I was in Cambridge it was weird because my country was at war and people were going on with their normal lives.
Watch: Russian army targets civilians in villages near Kyiv
"I have friends on the frontlines and I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye if I didn't help out.
"In Ukraine we are all together and I feel much more at peace.
"My parents obviously didn't want me to go but they understood why I wanted to - and I didn't give them much choice."
Nizalov has taken an intensive medical course in Lviv to prepare him for work as a medic.
He also plans to operate a drone that will drop supplies to people who can't be reached because of Russian military positions.
He has set up a fundraising page to support his unit and they have already raised enough to buy two 4x4 vehicles.