'Hero' Ukrainian soldier who blew himself up on bridge honoured with funeral in hometown
He was just 25
The Ukrainian soldier who blew himself up with a bridge to stop advancing Russian troops has been hailed as a hero and provided with a funeral in his hometown.
Vitaliy Skakun Volodymyrovych was in position at a bridge near Crimea when Russian tanks began to approach last week. Upon realising he could not get to safety in time, Volodymyrovych blew the bridge while allegedly still on it, taking his own life.
Earlier this week, Volodymyrovych was laid to rest in his hometown and has been commended by numerous Ukrainian officials. Ukraine's Ambassador to Austria, Olexander Scherba, shared images from Volodymyrovych's funeral on March 2, writing: "To stop RU fascists, he blew up a bridge at the cost of his life.
His name was Vitaly Skakun. He was 25. To stop RU fascists, he blew up a bridge at the cost of his life. Today he was carried to grave in his hometown - and people stood on their knees. #StandWithUkraine #UkraineRussiaWar #RussianUkrainianWar pic.twitter.com/sT9fn3qOAG
— olexander scherba🇺🇦 (@olex_scherba) March 2, 2022
"Today he was carried to grave in his hometown - and people stood on their knees," he added.
It's believed that other soldiers heard he planned to blow up the bridge but an explosion was heard before they could do anything to help.
Through Facebook, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said: "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."
"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 brdige but couldn't leave and blew it up together with himself." The unit successfully redeployed - Land Forces pic.twitter.com/7eMWTv03kX
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) February 25, 2022
They added: "Our comrade died. His heroic deed significantly slowed the enemy's advance, which allowed the unit to redeploy and organise the defence."
Volodymyrovych will now be considered for a state military award once the Marine Command submits the request to High Command.
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