Zelensky rewards Patron, dog hero of the war in Ukraine

This young Jack Russel alone would have detected nearly 200 explosive devices in Chernihiv, in northeastern Ukraine.

WAR IN UKRAINE – A mine sniffer celebrated in kyiv. Patron seemed almost proud to receive his distinction this Sunday, May 8 in the capital of Ukraine. This Ukrainian dog was received and rewarded by Volodymyr Zelensky himself, for his work since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Able to sniff out landmines, Patron, this two-year-old Ukrainian Jack Russel became a star in his country and was honored by his president and the Ukrainian state with a Medal of Courage “for dedicated service”. Its owner Myhailo Iliev was also rewarded.

This original ceremony in the context of the war was organized on the occasion of a surprise visit by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to kyiv. It was therefore in his presence that Patron was rewarded, a happy coincidence because of the bomb detection and defusing technique used by the owner of the dog, of Canadian origin, as CNN points out.

“Even if the dog barked at me, we are helping to finance that,” Justin Trudeau joked at a press conference about the detection program of Canadian origin.

A “small but very famous sapper”

Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, this dog originally trained for hunting has detected nearly 200 explosive devices in the northeast of the country, in Chernihiv, according to Volodymyr Zelensky. Very present in Ukrainian communication, this dog quickly became a symbol on social networks, worn as a hero of the nation attacked by Russia. As such, Patron has more than 200,000 followers on Instagram where he is regularly featured for his sniffer dog activity.

The President of Ukraine described Patron as a “small but very famous sapper”, insisting in passing on the need to demine Ukraine, especially with regard to children. Zelensky also estimated during this press conference that teaching children to avoid landmines “is now one of the most urgent tasks”.

Used since the Second World War for mine clearance, sniffer dogs are much more gifted than their human owners, in particular thanks to their more developed sense of smell, which allows them to detect explosive substances contained in mines.

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This article was originally published on The HuffPost and has been updated.

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