Ukrainian soldier faces amputation

Ukrainian soldier faces amputation

LVIV, Ukraine — Vladislav Tkachenko grimaced, gripping a wooden balance rail and edging forward carefully. He then lost his balance, and his metal leg, fitted with his old combat boot, hit the ground. He got back up and pushed forward, staring determinedly at his reflection in the mirror.

Victoria Oliikh, a prosthetics specialist, hovers behind him in his mind, he is already back there, with his comrades. She is helping fit Mr. Tkachenko, 23, with a limb he hopes will carry him back to the battlefield.

On the second day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Tkachenko lost his left leg when an artillery shell blew it off and tore into his right thigh, leaving a web of dark red scars. He is among the first in what Ukrainian doctors fear could become a devastating surge of amputations as Ukrainian forces try to regain territory and the fighting in the east intensifies.

The expectation has sparked an international effort to shore up Ukraine's supply of prosthetic limbs. Narander is worried about the owner of a Kyiv-based prosthetics company. There are already hundreds. He said that the numbers are frightening, referring to the number of Ukrainian soldiers who have lost limbs.