Vitaliy Volodymyrovych Skakun was an engineer for a battalion of marines on the Crimean isthmus, where Russian tanks and military forces began to advance into Ukraine.
The marines decided to blow up the Genichesky Bridge to stop the invasion, a task for which Skakun volunteered despite being in a different battalion.
Skakun placed mines on the bridge and told his fellow soldiers that he was blowing up the bridge. The bridge blew up before Skakun was able to run away, and he died in the explosion.
“His heroic deed significantly slowed the advance of the enemy, which allowed the unit to redeploy and organize the defense,” wrote the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine of Skakun in a Facebook post.
Skakun’s death allowed the rest of the soldiers to prepare for the oncoming Russians and saved the Ukrainian military time and ammunition.
Skakun will be awarded for his actions, the Armed Forces announced, and the Marine Command will honor him as a sailor in one of its battalions.
The post from the Armed Forces of Ukraine honored Skakun as a “hero,” using the hashtag #stoprussia to bring attention to the death and destruction resulting from the Kremlin’s invasion.
The post concluded: “Russian occupiers, know that the earth will burn under your feet! We will fight while we live! And while we are alive we will fight!”