(Image: AP/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

Andy Owen served in the intelligence corps of the British Army, reaching the rank of captain. He completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On September 11, 2001, I was receiving my first lesson on how to use the British military’s SA-80 rifle when news of the events in New York reached us. Several instructors on the training team put in requests to go back to their units that same day. It was immediately clear the events of that day had changed the path of history and they wanted to be involved in whatever came next.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces feels like a similarly pivotal moment.