Drone footage from the Ukrainian battlefield has captured the heroic final moments of a Ukrainian soldier surrounded by Russian troops as he tries to hold off the enemy alone in World War-style trench warfare.
After failing to capture Ukraine’s capital Kiev in the initial days of the war, Russia shifted its focus to the eastern Donbas region, where the Russian and Ukrainian troops are engaged in intense fighting.
The video in question was reportedly captured by a drone over Novotoshkivske village near Sievierodonetsk, the largest city in the Donbas region, currently under attack from the Russian military.
A Ukrainian soldier is fighting alone in trenches against a Russian group.
Until the bitter end. pic.twitter.com/ChJf3JTlq8
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) May 29, 2022
The video shows a group of pro-Russian separatists entering the Ukrainian trench which splits a barren field devastated by heavy artillery shelling.
A lone Ukrainian soldier is seen in the trench confronting the Russian forces in a bid to make them fall back. He fires his rifle from the corner and manages to hold off the Russians from advancing for a short while, however, the separatist forces overwhelming in number, begin throwing grenades down the trench path.
This forces the Ukrainian soldier into a small offshoot of the trench from which there is no way to escape. One grenade can be seen falling directly inside the offshoot, where the defender was hiding but he managed to move forward and not get hit.
However, a second one appears to have landed straight on his foot, and this time the soldier was unable to escape the explosion. As the grenade reaches the offshoot, a cloud of smoke and dust emerges from the explosion, and soon as the smoke disappears, the valiant Ukrainian defender is seen lying on the ground.
Russian Netizens Salute Soldier’s Bravery
The one-minute and 20 seconds video was shared on Twitter by Illia Ponomarenko, defense reporter with The Kyiv Independent. A longer version of the video has been put out on YouTube by pro-Russian sources.
YouTube viewers commenting on the video, including those who appear to be on the Russian side, saluted the soldier’s bravery.
“I’m Russian, but soldiers like this Ukrainian guy do honor to any army they serve in,” wrote one user.
“Don’t support the Ukrainian cause in this war. However, a big salute to that brave dude fighting alone in the center,” wrote another.
“Sad and disturbing… I’m not a fan of Ukraine, but that last fellow—a hero,” another commented.
Battle For Severodonetsk and Lysychansk
As reported earlier by EurAsian Times, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk have become the focus of Russia’s campaign to conquer the Donbas region.
The two cities, with a combined pre-war population of around 200,000, are the last major areas under Ukrainian control in Luhansk province.
If the Russian forces seize control of two cities, they could claim victory over the Luhansk region. Ukrainian officials have been reporting constant shelling over these two cities as Russian artillery devastates the Ukrainian position to make way for the infantry to advance.
\Smoke and dirt rise from the city of Severodonetsk during shelling in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. (Daily Mail)
“Capturing Sievierodonetsk is a fundamental task for the occupiers… we will do all we can to hold this advance,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised speech on May 29.
“Some 90 percent of buildings are damaged … more than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock has been destroyed … there is no telecommunication,” added Zelenskyy.
According to the Mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Striuk, at least 1,500 civilians in the city, which had a pre-war population of around 100,000, have died from the fighting as well as from a lack of medicine and diseases that could not be treated.
Russia Preparing To Completely Liberate Donetsk
Meanwhile, Russia announced on May 28 that the city of Lyman, a key rail hub in the Donetsk region, was “entirely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists,” and Ukrainian sources have said that Russian forces are now preparing for an attack on Sloviansk from Izium and Lyman.
An intelligence update from Britain’s Defense Ministry said the capture of Lyman is “likely a preliminary operation for the next stage of Russia’s Donbas offensive.”
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 28 May 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/SNyBZINIl2
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 28, 2022
“Lyman is strategically important because it is the site of a major railway junction, and also gives access to important rail and road bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River,” the UK’s Ministry of Defense tweet stated.
The Russian troops have moved more than 250 pieces of weapons and military equipment to occupied settlements in Lyman, as well as restored the railway bridge near Kupiansk, according to the General Staff of Ukraine.