Zelenskyy honors Ukrainian sniffer dog Patron at kyiv ceremony

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy honored his smallest soldier on Sunday – a famous little Jack Russell terrier named Patron.

The bomb-sniffing dog received state honors at a ceremony in Kyiv for its wartime efforts to find more than 200 explosive devices after being taught by its owner, Mykhailo Iliev of the Civil Defense Service .

Patron also helps children understand safety rules in mine-threatened areas, as Russian forces have left landmines and bombs buried in large parts of the country, according to the BBC.

“I want to reward those Ukrainian heroes who are already demining our country. And with our heroes – a wonderful little Patron sapper who not only helps to neutralize explosives, but also teaches our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there are a is a mine threat,” President Zelensky said during Sunday’s ceremony.

Patron’s efforts went viral last month after he helped defuse dozens of explosive devices and supported Ukrainian rescuers during a Russian invasion, Zelenskyy said at the ceremony. The dog has become a kind of Ukrainian celebrity, even having his own fan art.

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Patron:A bomb-sniffing dog in Ukraine helped defuse dozens of explosives during the Russian invasion

“One day Patron’s story will be made into a movie, but for now he is faithfully fulfilling his professional duties,” said the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. shared center last month.

Patron, who is 2, works with state emergency service rescuers in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv. The Ukrainian State Emergency Service also named the dog, “Chernihiv’s mascot”.

Patron met Sunday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who was on an unannounced visit to Ukraine, when he was honored. Patron adorably patted Trudeau’s pockets for treats. The SES said on social media that the dog was “extremely happy to meet a true friend from Ukraine, even though Mr. Trudeau couldn’t find a piece of Patron’s favorite cheese.”

By Day 73 of the War in Ukraine, advances by Ukrainian forces in the northeast appeared to be forcing the Russians to retreat towards the border. During Russia’s “Victory Day” parade, which celebrates the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II, President Vladimir Putin told the troops that they are “fighting for the fatherland”. He continues to push the narrative of a “special military operation” without a full declaration of war.

Contributor: Marina Pitofsky.

USA Today

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