Ukraine’s government is praising the heroism of Ukrainian soldier Vitaly Skakun, a member of the Navy, for sacrificing his life to protect Henichesk Bridge in southern Ukraine near Crimea.
Ukraine, engulfed in conflict since the night of Thursday, February 24, continues to honor its fallen soldiers. Vitaly Skakun has arisen as a new hero in the wake of the tributes paid to the 13 Ukrainian troops who died protecting Serpents’ Island in the Black Sea.
A Ukrainian Hero
An explosion on the Henichesk Bridge in Crimea claimed the life of Ukrainian Navy soldier Vitaly Skakun, according to the country’s militaries. The young soldier reportedly attempted to hinder the passage of Russian tanks by setting off an explosive device that eventually cost his own life.
“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 heroic act significantly slowed down the push of the enemy, allowing the unit to relocate and organize [a] defense.”
– Ukrainian Military Official
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Death and Injury Toll
Vladimir Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, released a new estimate of civilian and military casualties for the country’s citizens and troops. According to the President, at least 137 people died and another 316 wounded.
Russian missiles blasted Kyiv early on Saturday morning. The Ukrainian president urged its citizens to protect the capital against the Russians. He also said that Western weaponry will be sent soon to help Ukraine fight back against Russian aggression.
At least 50,000 Ukrainians who fled the conflict have arrived in Poland, Hungary, and Romania since it began, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR).
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