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A Russian soldier was turned into a ‘human bomb’ when a grenade fired by Ukrainian forces smashed through his rib cage and lodged inside him, but failed to detonate.

In order to remove the foreign object, surgeons – wrapped in body armour – operated on the man to remove the grenade, knowing it could detonate at any second.

Against all the odds, the medical workers were able to successfully extract the explosive without causing it to go off – saving the Russian’s life – and giving Vladimir Putin‘s military rare cause to celebrate amid increasingly embarrassing setbacks.

An X-Ray of Russian soldier Nikolay Pasenko's chest showing the grenade lodged inside him

Junior Sergeant Nikolay Pasenko (right), 41, was turned into a 'human bomb' when a grenade fired by Ukrainian forces smashed through his rib cage and lodged inside him, but failed to detonate

Junior Sergeant Nikolay Pasenko (right), 41, was turned into a ‘human bomb’ when a grenade fired by Ukrainian forces smashed through his rib cage and lodged inside him, but failed to detonate. Left: An X-Ray of Pasenko’s chest shows the grenade lodged inside him

The embedded explosive was from a Ukrainian strike with an automatic mounted grenade launcher AGS-17 (pictured, file photo), said reports

The embedded explosive was from a Ukrainian strike with an automatic mounted grenade launcher AGS-17 (pictured, file photo), said reports

Junior Sergeant Nikolay Pasenko, 41, was hit by the Ukrainian projectile fired from an automatic grenade launcher while he was fighting for the Russian president’s forces.

The ammunition shattered through his ribs, damaged a lung and lodged near his spine between the aorta and the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body.

X-rays from the emergency room showed the lethal explosive buried deep in the man’s chest. But despite the devastating wound, he was not killed by the impact.

Pasenko was taken to a medical facility, where the risk of an explosion was assessed as ‘extremely high’. However, failure to operate left the man at risk of bleeding out.

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The Russian soldier is reported to have initially resisted surgery, saying that he ‘did not want the doctors to suffer as the munitions could have exploded.’

But despite the risk, military and civilian doctors donned body armour to protect themselves from any potential explosion – that would likely kill them all in close proximity – and operated on the soldier regardless.

Military and civilian doctors donned body armour to protect themselves from any potential explosion - that would likely kill them all in close proximity - and operated on the soldier

Military and civilian doctors donned body armour to protect themselves from any potential explosion – that would likely kill them all in close proximity – and operated on the soldier

Against all the odds, the medical workers were able to successfully extract the explosive without causing it to go off - saving the Russian's life - giving Vladimir Putin's military rare cause to celebrate amid increasingly embarrassing setbacks

Against all the odds, the medical workers were able to successfully extract the explosive without causing it to go off – saving the Russian’s life – giving Vladimir Putin’s military rare cause to celebrate amid increasingly embarrassing setbacks

Pictured: A doctor shows X-Rays of Pasenko's chest, with the grenade lodged inside

Pictured: A doctor shows X-Rays of Pasenko’s chest, with the grenade lodged inside

Lt-Col Kim, based at the Mandryk Central Military Hospital in Moscow, travelled with his team to Belgorod to conduct the surgery on the wounded Russian fighter.

‘The ammunition was located between the aorta and the inferior vena cava,’ Kim said. ‘It’s not every day that you take an [explosive] out of a person, and in a place where moving to the right or left can lead to the death of the patient. When the ammunition ended up in a bucket of sand, everyone exhaled, smiled and laughed.’

A second operating theatre and a full team of surgeons was on standby in case the ordnance had detonated during the ‘unique operation’, reports said.

The embedded explosive was from a Ukrainian strike with an automatic mounted grenade launcher AGS-17, said reports.

Lt-Col Kim said that as they operated they ‘didn’t know if the ammunition had detonated or not’. It turned out it had not, so there was acute danger.

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Speaking after the surgery, Pasenko said he was hit by the grenade two weeks prior when fighting against Ukrainian soldiers. He claimed that his unit was tasked with taking a forest belt, but did not say where in the country they were fighting.

‘I did not understand what happened. There was a blow to the edge of the armour and that was it. I did not lose consciousness – I just continued to move.’

Then his comrades ‘jumped up and bandaged me’, he said.

Pasenko survived the surgery. He said afterwards that he was hit by the grenade when his unit was fighting to take a forest belt in Ukraine, but did not divulge where

Pasenko survived the surgery. He said afterwards that he was hit by the grenade when his unit was fighting to take a forest belt in Ukraine, but did not divulge where

‘Now you see that I am sitting in front of you,’ added the junior sergeant. ‘My thanks to surgeon Dmitry Kim and I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life.’

Russian soldiers have been in Ukrainian territory since 2014, and have been involved in an all-out invasion of the country since February 24, 2022 – when Putin gave the order to his forces to attack the country and overthrow the government in Kyiv.

But after dramatically halting Russia’s progression towards the capital in the early stages of the war, Kyiv’s forces have staged a spectacular defence on their country, pushing Moscow’s troops further and further east and back towards Russian borders.

As a result of several Russian military failures, the Kremlin underestimating Ukraine’s strength and support provided to Kyiv by its allies, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion was ordered.

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However, as Ukraine has re-taken land, horrific instances of war crimes carried out by Russian soldiers have been uncovered.

The Russian defence ministry hailed the medical operation as a success, taking the opportunity to share a rare good-news story at a time when Moscow’s military operations continue to suffer massive setbacks in Putin’s on-going invasion.

‘The military doctors together with their civilian counterparts donned body armour under their medical gowns and proceeded with this utmost intricate surgery,’ said a statement from the Russian ministry.

Pasenko’s life saving surgery was perhaps the only thing Russia’s military could celebrate this week, with Ukrainian officials saying on Friday that Ukrainian flags were appearing ‘en masse and all over the place,’ in the wake of Russia’s retreat from the southern region of Kherson.

Pasenko's life saving surgery was perhaps the only thing Russia's military could celebrate this week, with Ukrainian officials saying on Friday that Ukrainian flags were appearing 'en masse and all over the place,' in the wake of Russia's retreat from the southern region of Kherson

Pasenko’s life saving surgery was perhaps the only thing Russia’s military could celebrate this week, with Ukrainian officials saying on Friday that Ukrainian flags were appearing ‘en masse and all over the place,’ in the wake of Russia’s retreat from the southern region of Kherson

‘Kherson is returning to Ukrainian control and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are entering the city,’ the Ukrainian defence ministry said on social media.

‘The retreat routes of the Russian invaders are under fire control of the Ukrainian army. Any attempts to oppose the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be stopped.’

Kherson was one of the four regions in Ukraine that Putin annexed in September.

The fall of the city would deal another humiliation to Moscow after a string of battlefield defeats and other setbacks.

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