A Ukrainian soldier is being credited with giving his life by blowing up a bridge to stop advancing Russian forces that were cutting through Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion this week.
“When the battalion decided that the only way to block the armored column was by blowing up the bridge, [Vitaly Skakun] Volodymyrovych volunteered to place mines on the span,” the New York Post reported. “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.”
The U.S. Sun reported that “Russian tanks and missile launchers had to take on a longer land route into the southern Kherson province” after he blew up the bridge.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted the following message on their official Facebook page documenting the incident [Facebook provided the translation that is featured below]:
On this difficult day for our country, when the Ukrainian people give away 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.
In order to stop the promotion of the tank column, a decision was made to overthrow the Geniche Car Bridge.
The engineer of a separate battalion sailor Vitaly Skakun Volodymyrovyc was called to perform this task. The bridge was replaced, but he didn’t have time to get out of there. According to the words of the brothers, Vitaliy came out of contact, and informed about what pídrivâ the bridge. There was an explosion right away. Our brother was killed. His heroic act significantly slowed down the push of the enemy, allowing the unit to relocate and organize defense.
The Marine Corps Command will be concerned before the higher command about the awarding of the Skakun sailor Vitaliy Volodymyrovich state award.
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!
Fighting intensified on Friday and into the early morning hours on Saturday as large explosions from missile attacks eventually turned into street fighting with Ukraine urging its citizens to take up arms, and Molotov cocktails, to fight the Russians.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” Zelensky said in a statement. “We will lift sanctions on all citizens of Ukraine who are ready to defend our country as part of territorial defense with weapons in hands.”
Zelensky has reportedly refused to be evacuated from the capital city of Kyiv as Russian military forces attack the city and surrounding areas.
“The U.S. government is prepared to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky leave Kyiv to avoid being captured or killed by advancing Russian forces, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials,” The Washington Post reported. “But so far, the president has refused to go.”
A senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation that U.S. officials had with Zelensky when he was reportedly asked to evacuate says that Zelensky responded: “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”