A Ukrainian soldier has been hailed as a hero after he blew himself up with a bridge in order to stop Russian troops advancing, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Sharing the news on their Facebook page, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Vitaliy Skakun Volodymyrovych took up a position at a bridge near to Crimea when Russian tanks were advancing.
When he realised that he would not be able to get out in time before the explosion, he allegedly took the decision to stay down and ensure that the bridge was destroyed, even though it meant giving his own life.
His country’s armed forces have since called him a hero.
The translated post reads: “On this difficult day for our country, when the Ukrainian people are repelling the Russian occupiers in all directions, one of the most difficult places on the map of Ukraine was the Isthmus of Perekop, where a separate marines battalion was one of the first to meet the enemy,”
Quoting the same force, Euromaidan Press wrote on Twitter: “To stop the advance of the tank column, the decision was to blow up the Henichesk bridge.
“The engineer Skakun Vitaliy volunteered to perform this task. He mined the bridge but couldn’t leave and blew it up together with himself.”
His comrades reported that they heard from Vitaliy that he planned to blow up the bridge, and then heard an immediate explosion.
The general staff statement continued: “Our comrade died.
“His heroic deed significantly slowed the enemy’s advance, which allowed the unit to redeploy and organise the defence,”
The statement also confirmed that Vitaliy will be considered for a state military award.
They said: “The Marine Command will apply to the High Command to award the state award to sailor Skakun Vitaliy Volodymyrovych.”