Kirill Shimko of Belarus pulls new 55 tonne BelAZ vehicle

On Sunday morning, a section of road near the Minsk — Hero City Memorial in Masherov Avenue was closed off to allow Kirill Shimko to set a new Guinness record. He pulled the new 55 tonne BelAZ vehicle in the sunshine before a large crowd

By Taras Vertinsky

An impressive gathering of people were ready to witness the event by noon — comprising not just those keen on weightlifting, but an assortment of men, women and children. All were keen to see Shimko succeed in setting the amazing record, as it usually takes ten strong men to move such a truck even a millimetre. For the fun of it, all the men present were invited to try their hand but there were no bravehearts in the crowd, understandably! Even the wheels of the gigantic vehicle are of human height.

The host announced that the time had come and broad-shouldered Kirill stepped forward, adjusting his overall which bore the BelAZ logo. With Olympic calm, he checked everything again and approached the vehicle without hesitation. Besides seven years of training, he also has outstanding determination and strength of character.

“I hadn’t especially prepared for the record,” he admitted sincerely. “However, I had visited BelAZ to practise pulling a vehicle. I succeeded, although I tore a ligament in my leg.”

During the wait, the truck had sunk slightly in the warm asphalt, so it was necessary to move the gigantic vehicle a little. It took Kirill almost half an hour of attempts before he managed to pull the Zhodino giant nearly a metre, to noisy shouts of support from the crowd.

In the summer of 2007, Kirill was joined by Pavel Soroka in pulling a 150-tonne IL-76 transport plane across three metres. Meanwhile, in May 2008, the two men dragged a 30-tonne T-34 tank the grand distance of five metres. The achievement also includes pulling of a 250-tonne train with five passenger carriages.

Kirill has promised that he won’t rest on his laurels but we can only guess at what his next challenge may be.

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