Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces decorates soldier who repelled Russian assault in close combat

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has awarded the Golden Cross to Ruslan Zubariev, a senior soldier [equivalent to the rank of corporal – ed.] in the 92nd Ivan Sirko Separate Mechanised Brigade, and presented him with a weapon as an award.

Source: Zaluzhnyi on Telegram; Zubariev on Telegram

Quote from Zaluzhnyi: "I had the honour to decorate Ruslan Zubariev, a senior soldier in the 92nd Ivan Sirko Separate Mechanised Brigade, with the Golden Cross honorary badge and present him with a well-deserved honorary weapon.

Ruslan repelled an attack by superior enemy forces and showed valour and courage in battle."

Details: Zubariev uses the alias Predator.

He took part in a battle against Russian troops near Svatove, Luhansk Oblast, on 16 February 2023. Zubariev filmed a video and posted it on his Telegram channel, PREDATOR.

The footage shows the 21-year-old soldier destroying a Russian BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and killing several invaders in 30 minutes of combat. Predator uses various weapons [an RPG-7 grenade launcher, machine gun and assault rifle] and throws grenades at the Russian troops from his foxhole.

Predator said the Russian group consisted of 11 soldiers and reinforcements could have joined them, as the Russian positions were 70 metres away.

A Ukrainian mortar crew and an IFV arrived to assist the Ukrainian defenders. The Ukrainian forces held their position and forced the Russian troops to retreat.

The soldier's military partner sustained a concussion during the combat, but still supported Predator with ammunition throughout the battle.

Later, Zubariev described the battle in detail.

Quote from Zubariev: "The day was as ordinary as could be. My partner and I took up our duty, stood guard for an hour and a half, and there was literally half an hour left before we'd be coming off duty and getting some rest, but we heard the sounds of a [moving] BMP-2. Thinking it was somewhere far away, I decided to get the anti-tank weapons ready, and about 10 seconds later, we got a call on the radio warning us that the same BMP-2 was moving in our direction.

We didn't really understand what they were saying on the radio as the Russians were using jamming equipment, and when we were told again that vehicles were moving towards us, they were like 5 metres away, and then the events you’ve all seen on the video began.

Eventually, we repelled the attack, and those who managed to survive ran away. The rest of them are still lying there.

My comrade is fine. He was concussed at the time, but he could still help me; he gave me everything I asked for, listened and followed my orders, for which I am very grateful."

Details: Zubariev says Zaluzhnyi awarded him an M4 assault rifle. Previously, Predator had a customised AK-47 assault rifle. He said he had wanted to purchase an assault rifle, but the law forbids citizens to do so until the age of 25. Zubariev is 21.

Journalists fight on their own frontline. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron!