A former Ukrainian soldier was filmed setting himself on fire in protest after he was sacked from the army. Dramatic footage broadcast on Ukrainian television showed Serhii Ulianov dousing himself in petrol before setting his army uniform alight. Flames covered him head to toe in seconds in the shocking protest outside the Ukrainian Defence Ministry headquarters in Kiev.
As witnesses were pulled away from desperately trying to jump in, another soldier managed to pull Ulianov to the ground to pat out the flames. Firefighters and other militiary officials jumped in to cover the ex-soldier, spraying him with a fire extinguisher.
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According to reports in the country, servicemen were made aware of Ulianov’s plans and had managed to restrain him from his attempted self-immolation. But Ulianov managed to break free and ignite himself in seconds. One picture shows him hurling away a water bottle filled with clear liquid – believed to be the gasoline he used.
The flames were extinguished in seconds and the man is now being treated by doctors. He is not understood to have suffered serious burns.
Local media reported that Ulianov was protesting on behalf of a group of soldiers who were allegedly unfairly dismissed in 2016. Ulianov claimed in a Facebook post on Monday that the officers’ rights were violated because they were unable to legally retire as they had not received proper documentation. The group had signed up to a voluntary battalion that fought with pro-Russian terrorists in eastern Ukraine.