A Ukrainian soldier has been hailed as a hero for blowing himself up to destroy a bridge in an effort to stop Russian tanks from invading his country.
Marine battalion engineer Vitaly Skakun Volodymyrovych was deployed to the Henichesk bridge in the southern province of Kherson when the Russian tanks advanced, the Ukrainian military said on its Facebook page.
“On this difficult day for our country, when the Ukrainian people give way to the Russian occupiers in all directions, one of the hardest places on the map of Ukraine was the Crimean intersection, where one of the first enemies met a separate marine battalion,” according to the post.
When the battalion decided that the only way to block the armored column was by blowing up the bridge, Volodymyrovych volunteered to place mines on the span, the General Staff of the Armed Forces said.
And when he realized he had no time to get to safety, the brave soldier made the ultimate sacrifice on the bridge, which connected Russian-occupied Crimea and mainland Ukraine.
“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,” the military said.
“Our brother was killed. His heroic act significantly slowed down the push of the enemy, allowing the unit to relocate and organize the defense,” the statement said.
“Russian invaders, know, under your feet the earth will burn! We will fight as long as we live! And as long as we are alive we will fight!” it added.
Military commanders said they planned to award Volodymyrovych with a posthumous award for his “heroic act.”