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Pensioner reveals how he took on entire Russian tank convoy single-handed with grenades

A Ukrainian pensioner has revealed how he blew up a column of Russian tanks in Bucha using a stolen grenade launcher to hit a tanker truck.

Valentyn Didkovskiy, 64, single-handedly waited for the passing convoy headed for Kiev to unleash fury and destroy several vehicles in a large fireball.

He then summoned his comrades who picked up the rest of the broken-down column in Irpin before inspecting the smoldering wreckage as he beamed and screamed, “I gave them what the fuck.”

The retired soldier from Lviv served in the Soviet army in 1979 before moving to Kiev, where he worked as a taxi driver while living with his family in Bucha.

He tried to enlist in the Ukrainian war effort after the Russian invasion, but was rejected because he had recently suffered a stroke.

But that didn’t stop the hardened war veteran from contributing to his country’s heroism by single-handedly destroying a convoy in one of the defining images of the war.

Just three days after Putin launched the brutal attack in February, a column of Russian tanks and military vehicles rolled towards Kiev, expecting to take the capital within days.

But thanks to the resistance of the Ukrainian army and volunteers like Didkovskiy, they were brought to a halt and eventually forced to turn back.

In early March, the streets of Bucha are littered with burnt-out Russian tanks and military vehicles

In early March, the streets of Bucha are littered with burnt-out Russian tanks and military vehicles

Valentyn Didkovskiy has revealed how he blew up a column of Russian tanks in Bucha using a stolen grenade launcher to hit a tanker truck

Valentyn Didkovskiy has revealed how he blew up a column of Russian tanks in Bucha using a stolen grenade launcher to hit a tanker truck

Valentyn Didkovskiy has revealed how he blew up a column of Russian tanks in Bucha using a stolen grenade launcher to hit a tanker truck

People look at the stripped remains of Russian military vehicles on a road in the city of Bucha, close to the capital Kiev

People look at the stripped remains of Russian military vehicles on a road in the city of Bucha, close to the capital Kiev

People look at the stripped remains of Russian military vehicles on a road in the city of Bucha, close to the capital Kiev

When soldiers finally withdrew, a cemetery of charred and twisted Russian tanks was revealed in Bucha, but the cause of the destruction was unknown.

The powerful images of a road filled with destroyed Russian equipment made headlines around the world, showing Putin’s weakened army in the face of such a fierce Ukraine insurgency.

Didkovskiy has now told RFERL how he was the unlikely catalyst for the massive destruction.

Footage he shot after the explosion shows him celebrating lavishly as he surveys the burning wreckage, saying, “That’s what happened near my damn house. I gave them what the fuck!

“Those were damned Kadyrov’s troops. They fucking came here and now they’re fucking dead. Damn that’s left of it.’

Didkovskiy said he started helping soldiers on the front lines by providing them with ammunition, food and cigarettes.

The retiree tried to enlist in the Ukrainian war effort after the Russian invasion, but was rejected because he had recently suffered a stroke

The retiree tried to enlist in the Ukrainian war effort after the Russian invasion, but was rejected because he had recently suffered a stroke

The retiree tried to enlist in the Ukrainian war effort after the Russian invasion, but was rejected because he had recently suffered a stroke

When soldiers finally withdrew, Bucha .  a graveyard of charred and twisted Russian tanks revealed

When soldiers finally withdrew, Bucha .  a graveyard of charred and twisted Russian tanks revealed

When soldiers finally withdrew, Bucha . a graveyard of charred and twisted Russian tanks revealed

A destroyed armored vehicle, with the letter V painted on the tower, is seen on a street in Bucha

A destroyed armored vehicle, with the letter V painted on the tower, is seen on a street in Bucha

A destroyed armored vehicle, with the letter V painted on the tower, is seen on a street in Bucha

After being told that he could not serve in the army, he asked soldiers in Bucha for weapons, but instead went to look for a grenade launcher in Irpin.

Ukrainian armed forces had recovered an RPG-18 and four grenades from destroyed personnel carriers and tanks, which they handed over to him.

The retiree’s volunteer formation had withdrawn, but he remained in his house, ready to strike if the Russians passed.

On the morning of February 27, he heard the roar of military vehicles driving down his street and prepared for action.

He explained: “I saw a large column approaching from the Bucha train station.

“I’ve prepared my grenade launcher and four grenades. I ran to the gate, but it was not a good position. The column was only 30 meters away.

Just three days after Putin launched the brutal attack in February, a column of Russian tanks and military vehicles rolled toward Kiev

Just three days after Putin launched the brutal attack in February, a column of Russian tanks and military vehicles rolled toward Kiev

Just three days after Putin launched the brutal attack in February, a column of Russian tanks and military vehicles rolled toward Kiev

‘I was walking behind the house, there was a trailer parked by the gate. I climbed on it quietly. The first armored car drove past, then an infantry vehicle, another personnel car, a tank.

“All of a sudden I saw a tanker and I thought, ‘Maybe it’ll stop a few.'”

Didkovskiy then explained how he aimed at the truck and fired his grenade launcher, which caused a huge explosion and spilled the fuel, meaning the Russians couldn’t move.

He fired two more grenades, but held one in his hand.

As the fire raged down the street, the retiree fled to a neighbor’s house and heard a series of powerful explosions.

The flames partially destroyed Didkovskiy’s own house, but his son and other veterans help him rebuild it.

After finding safety, he contacted the commander of his unit and told them to fire on the decommissioned convoy.

He told Pravda: ‘After about five to ten minutes, the boys started yelling at them.

“They were explosions like that… I don’t know what they were used for, but they were really big explosions.”

Part of the broken column then moved towards Irpin to bypass a blocked street, but collided with further Ukrainian defenses, losing two armored personnel carriers and several soldiers, and they retreated to Bucha.

The advance towards Kiev from Bucha was halted and they never attempted to advance from the city to the capital again.

Didkovskiy continues to patrol Bucha and says he is ready to go to the front line if necessary.

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