46-year-old Private Sergei, who wanted to be known only by his last name under military rules, had left his bunker to smoke but had sniffed a breeze from his cigarette
Image: News Group Newspapers Ltd)
The life of a Ukrainian soldier was saved by a cigarette break as he ducked to light it just moments before a Russian bombardment blew up the bunker where he had taken refuge.
46-year-old Private Sergei, who wished to be known only by his last name in the region, according to military rules, had left his bunker to smoke but had sniffed a breeze from his cigarette.
“I took a step around the wall to get out of the wind just as there was an explosion,” he said.
“If I hadn’t tried to light my cigarette, I would be dead.”
The father of one child, a Russian-born welder, suffered a concussion from the 120mm artillery shell explosion in Rubizhne. The sun reports.
The city is now under Kremlin control.
When the war started in February, Sergei registered for his adopted country.
According to Sergei, Chechen troops loyal to their leader, along with Putin’s henchman Ramzan Kadyrov, fought his men in street battles.
“They placed their guns over the walls of the compound and sprayed bullets,” he added.
“We were a few meters away. We threw grenades.”
The soldier dismissed how difficult life on the front lines was, saying it was “just like dangerous camping”.
“The hardest part was the Russian bodies because they just left them behind,” he said.
News of the hero’s survival intervenes reports from Russian Armed Forces swarmed into the nearby city of Severodonetsk on Monday, bombing an area housing hundreds of civilians and mirroring the horror attack of Mariupol.
Moscow’s troops now control about 70% of the key city, which lies northwest of Rubizhne.
Troops are reportedly trying to cut off around 500 locals who have taken shelter in an industrial complex – just like in Mariupol.
The attack on the devastated city of Luhanks – whose overthrow will mean a major Russian victory – underscored a desperate race for Western arms to get to the frontlines in Ukraine.
Pro-Moscow separatists claimed that the last bridge out of Severodonetsk had been destroyed and that Ukrainian defenders there must now surrender or die.
Ukraine said there was another route out across the city’s last remaining bridge, though that route was badly damaged.
Ukraine is increasingly demanding more Western weapons to defend Severodonetsk, which Kyiv says is a battle for control of the eastern Donbass region.
Regional governor Sergei Gadai said: “The fighting is so fierce that fighting not just over a street but over a single high-rise building can last for days.”
He said: “The Russians continue to storm the city, having a significant advantage in artillery, they somewhat pushed back the Ukrainian soldiers.
“About 500 civilians remain at the Azot plant site in Severodonetsk, 40 of them are children. Sometimes the military manages to evacuate someone.”
Ukraine’s report of civilians trapped at an industrial facility mirrored the case of Mariupol last month, where hundreds of civilians and badly wounded Ukrainian soldiers were holed up for weeks.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukrainian-soldier-leaves-bunker-smoke-27231288 A Ukrainian soldier's life was saved by a cigarette as he exited a bunker as Russian bombs fell - Archyde