A heroic Ukrainian marine blew himself up along with a bridge in Crimea on Thursday to hold off advancing Russian troops and allow his battalion to regroup and redeploy.
Vitaly Shakun was manning the Henichesk bridge in the Kherson region when Russians advanced.
According to a post on the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Facebook page, the battalion decided the only way to stop them was to blow up the bridge. It was mined, and he had no time to get out.
Shakun texted them and told them he was going to blow up the bridge. Seconds later, they heard an explosion, the post said.
Vitaly Shakun was manning the Henichesk bridge in the Kherson region when Russians advanced. According to a post on the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Facebook page, the battalion decided the only way to stop them was to blow up the bridge
A post on the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Facebook page detailed his heroic efforts
The Henichesk bridge in the Kherson region at the Crimean crossing which the Ukrainian forces said was a key area of defense
The destroyed bridge on Thursday after the heroic soldier blew it up
His efforts dramatically slowed down the Russian advance and allowed his comrades to regroup and re-deploy.
He is believed to be among the at least 137 people who died on the first day of the war yesterday.
‘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 Crimean Isthmus, where a separate battalion of marines met one of the first enemies.
‘To stop the advance of the tank column, it was decided to blow up the Genichesky road bridge.
Vitaliy Volodymyrovych Skakun, an engineer of a separate battalion, volunteered to perform this task. The bridge was mined, but he did not have time to leave.
‘According to the brothers, Vitaliy got in touch and said that he was blowing up the bridge. An explosion was heard immediately. Our brother died.
‘His heroic deed significantly slowed the advance of the enemy, which allowed the unit to redeploy and organize the defense,’ a translation of the post reads.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday speaking from Kyiv. Ukrainians have been told to fight for their lives
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko holds up a Kalashnikov while being interviewed on Friday. He has joined the civilian territorial defense on the streets of Ukraine and says there are lines of people seeking to help but that they don’t have enough arms
Residents of Kyiv are pictured hiding in a bomb shelter somewhere in the city as it comes under Russian bombardment
Ukrainian soldiers take position on a bridge inside the city of Kyiv, as Russian forces advance into the capital
Russian soldiers on the amphibious infantry fighting vehicle BMP-2 move towards mainland Ukraine on the road near Armiansk, Crimea
UKRAINE WAR: LATEST
- Russia said it is not willing to negotiate with Ukraine’s government until military operation is over
- Came after Zelensky called for a sit-down with Putin to end the fighting
- Putin said he would be willing to send a team of negotiators to meet Zelensky – in Belarus, which is helping with the invasion
- Russian president then called on Ukrainian military to overthrow the ‘regime’ in Kyiv
- China’s President Xi spoke to Putin by phone, called for diplomatic solution to the fighting
- Ukraine says Russia has bombed 33 civilian sites in Kyiv in the last 24 hours
- Two children have been reported killed in Kyiv bombing overnight
- Ukraine has banned men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country to conscript them into armed forces
- Zelensky has allowed anyone of any age to join the armed forces, and called on Europeans from other countries to come and join the fight
- Russia is deploying paratroopers to Chernobyl after capturing it yesterday, Moscow said
- Ukraine reported ‘anomalous’ radiation levels at the plant amid fears nuclear storage was breached in fighting, but Moscow said readings are normal
- Russia claims to have destroyed 118 Ukrainian military sites in 30 hours of fighting
- PM Boris Johnson pledged more support is coming to Ukraine in the coming days
- Johnson shared a phone call with Zelensky on Friday morning
He will be given posthumous awards for his bravery, the post said. Ukrainian troops and civilians are fighting to the death to stop Putin’s army.
President Zelensky yesterday told the country that he would give a firearm to anyone who wanted one and was willing to stay and fight.
Citizens are being told to use Molotov cocktails to fight the enemy.
Dozens of them were pictured signing up to join defense teams all over the country last night in photos shared by Ukrainian MP Andrii Osandchuk.
President Zelensky this morning shamed President Biden for ‘looking on from a distance’ while Putin stormed his country.
Biden and the West have imposed severe economic sanctions but they have not joined in any physical conflict.
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is on the streets with squads of civilians who are lining up to join the fight.
He told CNN on Friday that they were all willing to fight, but had no arms.
‘We have maybe two machine guns… that’s it.
‘We don’t have an artillery’s, tanks, this is the long line of the people who enlisted but we don’t have enough arms.
‘These are ordinary people have never been in the army.
‘They’re staying in line now to join us.
‘This is extremely touching.’
‘Putin never will catch Ukraine.
‘No matter how many soldiers he has, missiles he has, nuclear weapons.
‘We Ukrainians are free people with a great European future,’ he said.