As the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on, thousands of soldiers on both sides are becoming victims of grisly injuries, with some more miraculous than others.
A Russian soldier became a victim of just such an injury after an unexploded shell got lodged in his chest during an ambush by Ukrainian soldiers.
According to Newsweek, Junior Sergeant Nikolay Pasenko was in the middle of a firefight when he felt a terrible pain in his chest.
The gravely injured soldier was transported to an outpatient facility in the Russian border city of Belgorod, where doctors had to find a way to save him.
As revealed by the Russian Defense Ministry, “The patient was admitted with a wound that had penetrated [his] chest… the examination revealed that the miraculously unexploded ordnance had pierced [his] ribs and lungs and got lodged close to the spinal cord, between the aorta and the inferior vena cava near the heart,” as reported by Newsweek.
Not exactly an ideal location for unexploded ordinance.
According to the New York Post, the Defense Ministry added more detail: “despite this, the military doctors together with their civilian counterparts donned body armor under their medical gowns and proceeded with this utmost intricate surgery.”
Pasenko was initially hesitant about the procedure.
“I was against it. I did not want the doctors to suffer as the munitions could have exploded,” Pasenko said, according to the Post.
Head surgeon Dmitry Kim convinced the wounded soldier by explaining that he was at risk of fatal blood loss if doctors did not intervene.
“So we’ll blow up together,” Kim said in an attempt to lighten the mood.
Despite the risk of detonation, none of Kim’s fellow doctors stepped away and were determined to save the soldier’s life.
“We were warned there was a risk of ammunition detonation, but no one refused,” said Kim.
“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,” he said according to the Post.
The dangerous and intricate surgery was ultimately a success and the shell was removed.
Pasenko is now recovering in a Moscow hospital with a grateful heart.
“And now you see that I am sitting in front of you,” he said, according to Newsweek. “My thanks to surgeon Dmitry Kim and I will be grateful to him for the rest of my life. He is a very courageous man.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.