A former Russian lawmaker has taken up arms and is currently fighting with Ukrainian Forces to fight his homeland because he wants “to defend humanity and Europe.” Ilya Ponomarev, formerly part of Russia’s Duma, is one of the few instances where you would actually see a Russian fighting on the Ukrainian side in unform. While he did say he was fighting on the side of the Ukrainians, we do not have information regarding what capacity he is serving in.

Ponomarev is not new to Ukraine, nor is he a new ally of Ukraine. In fact, Ponomarev gained notoriety in Russia and Ukraine in 2014 when he was the only Russian lawmaker who voted against Putin’s annexation of Crimea, making him a target in Moscow. When the Russian Duma passed the resolution to annex Crimea in a vote which tallied 445-1, Ponomarev was the “1” vote in dissent.

After this vote was called, populist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky called for him to be kicked out of the Duma as his vote was “anti-state.” However, another senior member said that he could not be kicked out simply for the way they voted. Ponomarev would soon be forced to leave Russia Russia fearing being imprisoned or assassination. He said that there was no room for “independent thought” in parliament as they were all loyal to Putin.

In 2016, he was impeached by the Russian Duma. He later moved to Ukraine as he was on Putin’s hit list for opposing the Russian President.

When asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper how he ended up fighting with Ukrainian troops, Ponomarev answered, “What else could I do under those circumstances?”