Military Doctor Surgically Removes Live Grenade from Ukrainian Soldier’s Chest

Photo Credit: 1. Chris McGrath / Getty Images 2. General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Facebook

In an event that shows just how dangerous the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War is for those fighting on the frontlines, a Ukrainian soldier had to have a live VOG grenade removed from his chest. In a post shared to Facebook, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shared that the operation was performed by one of the military’s “most experienced” surgeons.

Andrei Verba holding a VOG grenade
Maj. Gen. Andrei Verba holding the live VOG grenade he removed from the Ukrainian soldier’s chest. (Photo Credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Facebook)

According to the statement on Facebook, the Ukrainian soldier, who is said to have been in his mid-to-late 20s, had the live VOG grenade lodged just under his heart. The post was accompanied by an image of a chest X-ray, showing the exact location of the explosive in the serviceman’s body.

One-and-a-half-inch-long VOG grenades have been commonly used on the frontlines of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Typically deployed via grenade launchers, the explosives can travel a distance of 400 meters, and have also been dropped from drones.

The surgery was conducted by Maj. Gen. Andrei Verba, a surgeon within the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It was among the most difficult operations Verba has ever conducted, due to the threat of detonation, should something go wrong. To lessen the risk, electrocoagulation – the use of an electric current to control bleeding and remove unwanted tissue – was not used.

Two military sappers were also present in the operating room to neutralize the grenade upon its removal from the soldier’s body.

X-ray of a live grenade in the chest of a Ukrainian soldier
Live grenade in the chest of a Ukrainian soldier. (Photo Credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Facebook)

“I think this case will go down in medical textbooks,” said Ukrainian Internal Affairs ministerial adviser Anton Gerashchenko in a post on Telegram. “The unexploded part of the grenade was taken from the heart. The grenade did not explode, but remained explosive.”

While the majority of sources have stated the exact date and location of the incident is unknown, the New York Post has reported that the grenade was fired from an assault rifle-attached launcher during fighting in the city of Bakhmut, in the heavily-contested Donetsk region. Since August, the area has been witness to intense trench warfare.

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According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the soldier is currently undergoing rehabilitation and recovery.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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