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Ukrainian Mine Dog Receives Medal for Bravery

Amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian military continues its efforts to push back the Russian troops. However, as the Russian forces retreat, they leave behind a dangerous trail of hidden landmines, posing threats to both soldiers and civilians. Fortunately, the Ukrainian military has proficient bomb squads equipped to detect and deactivate these explosive hazards, and a standout member of these squads is a remarkable dog named Patron.

Patron, a two-and-a-half-year-old Jack Russell terrier whose name translates to “ammo” in Ukrainian, has become a symbol of resistance against the Russian forces and a beloved mascot of the Ukrainian military. Patron plays a crucial role in assisting bomb squads by using his keen sense of smell to locate explosive materials and chemicals buried in the ground, indicating their presence for safe removal and disarming.

Since the start of the Russian invasion in February, Patron has contributed to disarming more than 200 explosive devices successfully. In recognition of Patron and his owner, Mykhailo Iliev’s dedication and service to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy honored them with service medals during a ceremony held in Kyiv.

Following the ceremony, Zelenskiy expressed, “Today, I want to honor those Ukrainian heroes who are working tirelessly to clear our land of mines. Alongside our heroes stands a remarkable little ‘sapper’ – Patron – who not only assists in neutralizing explosives but also educates our children on essential safety practices in areas under threat of landmines.”

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