As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, Ukrainian forces are still doing their best to push the Russian troops backward. Unfortunately, as the Russian troops fall back, they have been leaving numerous landmines buried in their wake, creating dangerous pathways for both soldiers and civilians. Thankfully, the Ukrainian military has skilled bomb squads available to locate and disarm these explosive devices, and one of their most dedicated soldiers is a dog named Patron.
Patron, whose name means “ammo” in Ukrainian, is a two-and-a-half year old jack russel that has become a mascot of the Ukrainian military, as well as a symbol of their resistance of the Russian forces. Patron aids the military bomb squads by sniffing the ground for the presence of explosive materials and chemicals, then pointing them out so the mines can be safely exhumed and disarmed.
Since the Russian invasion began in February, Patron has aided in the successful disarming of over 200 explosive devices. To reward Patron and his owner, Mykhailo Iliev, for their service to their country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy awarded them service medals at a ceremony held in Kyiv.
A dog called Patron, who works with SES rescuers in Chernihiv, has helped defuse nearly 90 explosive devices since the beginning of the full-scale invasion ? One day, Patron’s story will be turned into a film, but for now, he is faithfully performing his professional duties. pic.twitter.com/2PpT8p4Yfr
— Stratcom Centre UA (@StratcomCentre) March 19, 2022
“Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines,” Zelenskiy said in a statement following the ceremony. “And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper – Patron – who helps not only to neutralise explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat.”