Home News 'Heroic' Ukrainian soldier sacrifices himself to stop Russian tank advance from Crimea

'Heroic' Ukrainian soldier sacrifices himself to stop Russian tank advance from Crimea


Vitaly Skakun Volodymyrovych blew up the bridge at Henichesk, a strategic pinch point linking mainland Ukraine with the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. The Ukrainian military said the explosion “significantly slowed down the enemy” and gave the Ukrainian soldiers more time to regroup and redeploy their defences.

As the Russian tanks advanced, Mr Volodymyrovych did not have time to light the fuse and get to safety.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces in Ukraine said: “The bridge was mined, but he didn’t manage to get away from there.

“According to his brothers in arms, Vitaly got in touch [with them] and said he was going to blow up the bridge.

“Immediately after, an explosion rang out.”

His comrades praised his sacrifice for “significantly slowing down the enemy”.

There are now calls for Mr Volodymyrovych to be posthumously recognised for his “heroic act”.

UK military analysts said that Ukraine had put up a “staunch resistance” and Kyiv claims to have inflicted some heavy casualties on the Russian military.

On the first day of fighting on Thursday, Kyiv said it had taken out 30 tanks and seven warplanes and killed or captured over 800 Russian soldiers.

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He has urged people to take up arms and defend the city “any way you can”.

On Friday he posted a video online showing himself in Kyiv surrounded by members of his Cabinet.

He said: “We are all here. We are defending our independence, our country.”

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