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IANS

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared a marine who blew himself up along with a bridge near Crimea to repel advancing Russian forces a Hero of Ukraine, Daily Mail reported.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Vitaly Shakun was manning the Henichesk bridge in the Kherson region when Kremlin troops advanced and the battalion decided the only way to stop them was to blow up the bridge, the report said.

It was mined, and Shakun had no time to get out. He texted them and told them he was going to blow up the bridge. Seconds later, they heard an explosion, a post on their Facebook page said, Daily Mail reported.

Shakun's efforts dramatically slowed down the Russian advance and allowed his comrades to regroup and re-deploy, the Ukrainian General Staff added.

Ukraine President Zelensky has now made Shakun a Hero of Ukraine, the highest national title that can be conferred upon an individual citizen by the country's president, the report said.

In an emotional speech to the besieged nation uploaded to Facebook, the Ukrainian President declared 'we derailed their idea', Zelensky added: "The fights are going on in many cities and areas of our state. But we know that we are protecting the country, the land, the future of our children. Kiev and key cities around the capital are controlled by our army."

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