Photographs show a hand grenade that was said to be lodged in the chest of a Ukrainian soldier before medics retrieved it.
The unexploded weapon was removed from right beneath the soldier’s heart in the presence of two sappers to ensure the safety of the medical team, according to Ukraine’s deputy defense minister.
However, it’s unclear how the explosive ended up there. To prevent the grenade from detonating, the procedure was carried out without electrocoagulation, a method used in surgery to reduce bleeding by transmitting electric currents into tissue.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, shared the X-ray on social media. Another image depicted a surgeon with bloodied gloves, still wearing his apron and bouffant cap, holding a grenade.
“Not every wound in the heart area is deadly!” Maliar added.
According to Maliar, the operation was carried out successfully by Andrew Willow, one of Ukraine’s most experienced surgeons.
According to reports, the grenade survived the removal, and the 28-year-old soldier has since been transferred to rehabilitation for a full recovery.
VOG grenades are designed to be fired from grenade launchers mounted to assault rifles, according to Rosoboronexport, a “state-controlled” Russian defense export organization. They may be fired up to 400 meters away and target “exposed enemy troops” within military equipment such as vehicles, launchers, and radars.
Anton Gerashchenko, Ukraine’s internal affairs ministerial adviser, said the sappers successfully neutralized the grenade and hailed the surgery as one that would “go down in medical textbooks.”
“There have never been such operations in the practice of our doctors. Similar was during the war in Afghanistan,” wrote Gerashchenko.
“About the current patient, I can say that he was born in 1994, and now he is sent for rehabilitation, and his condition is stable. So I think this case will go down in medical textbooks.”