Ukrainian surgeon removed unexploded grenade from serviceman's body, official says

Pictures released by Ukraine's deputy defence minister appear to show a surgeon holding a grenade after surgery. Credit: Telegram/Hanna Maliar

Ukrainian military doctors have removed an unexploded grenade from the body of serviceman, the nation's deputy defence minister has said.

Hanna Maliar shared an image on Telegram of "one of the most experienced" Ukrainian military surgeons holding a grenade with bloody, gloved hands.

Ms Maliar also shared an X-ray image appearing to show the grenade lodged in the serviceman's body. It is unclear how the grenade got there.

"This is a shock... Not every injury to the heart is fatal!" Ms Maliar wrote on Monday.

"Military doctors performed an operation to remove an unexploded VOG grenade from the body of a serviceman. It was removed in the presence of two sappers who ensured the safety of medical personnel."

She added the surgery was performed without electrocoagulation, "as the grenade could detonate at any moment". Electrocoagulation, which uses heat from an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue, is used to control bleeding during surgery.

The surgery was a success and the serviceman was sent for rehabilitation and recovery, according to Ms Maliar.

Meanwhile, Russia has brought new levels of death and devastation in the grinding, months-long battle for control of eastern Ukraine.

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Moscow's forces are escalating their onslaught against Ukrainian positions around the wrecked city of Bakhmut, Ukrainian officials said late on Monday.

“Everything is completely destroyed. There is almost no life left,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said of the scene around Bakhmut and the nearby Donetsk province city of Soledar.

“The whole land near Soledar is covered with the corpses of the occupiers and scars from the strikes,” Mr Zelenskyy said. “This is what madness looks like.”

The Kremlin, whose invasion of its neighbor ten-and-a-half months ago has suffered numerous reversals, is hungry for any victories. Russia illegally annexed Donetsk and three other Ukrainian provinces in September, but its troops have struggled to advance.