Unexploded grenade removed from Ukrainian soldier's chest

Surgeon Andrii Verba holds the grenade after the surgery

An unexploded grenade has been removed from the chest of a Ukrainian soldier.

Before and after photos on the Facebook page of Ukraine's armed forces medical service show an X-ray of the explosive close to the serviceman's heart, and another of the surgeon holding the bloody device.

The post said two soldiers helped to oversee the operation to ensure it was carried out safely.

The injured soldier is now recovering, the group said.

The social media post said the surgery was carried out without the use of electrocoagulation - a common method where an electric current is used to help control bleeding during surgery - because the "ammunition could detonate at any time".

It added that the device was a VOG grenade - a 4cm long piece of ammunition which is fired from a grenade launcher and can travel around 400m, and is designed to explode just above the ground.

The operation was carried out by Major General Andrii Verba, described as "one of the most experienced surgeons" of Ukraine's armed forces.

It is not know when the operation was carried out or where the soldier was wounded, although the post was published on Monday.

Almost 11 months after Russia launched its deadly invasion, fighting in the east of country continues as Ukrainian forces attempt to push back troops sent by Moscow.

On Tuesday, the Wagner mercenary group announced it had "stormed" the city of Soledar in the Donetsk region and was in full control of it, although Kyiv said its soldiers were holding out, in a later statement.

Soledar would be a strategic gain for Russia, as the city boasts salt mines which would provide the invading forces with a place to station troops and equipment, protected from Ukrainian missiles.

It is also around six miles to the south-west of Bakhmut where Russian troops are currently focusing their assault.

Seizing control in either location would be a much-needed propaganda victory for Moscow, following several major setbacks in Ukraine since the war began, including losing control of Kherson, the only regional capital in the south it had managed to capture.



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