Ukrainian bomb-sniffing dog named patron honored by Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelensky regularly ended his nightly wartime speeches by announcing state awards for Ukrainian soldiers. On Sunday,...

President Volodymyr Zelensky regularly ended his nightly wartime speeches by announcing state awards for Ukrainian soldiers. On Sunday, he honored a fighter who may be the smallest in the country – a little dog named Patron.

Patron, whose name means “ammunition” in Ukrainian, helps spot Russian mines and explosives in the northeastern city of Chernihiv and acts as the mascot of the state emergency service of the country.

The dog found more than 200 explosive devices and was taught pyrotechnic work by its owner, Mykhailo Iliev of the Civil Protection Service, Mr Zelensky said.

Patron’s rise to power is perhaps another facet of Ukrainian efforts to control the war narrative with viral messaging – experts said dramatic wartime narratives are essential parts of the country’s information strategy. On the Ukrainian SES Facebook page, where they shared updates on Patron’s work, a video of him putting on a jacket and climbing on a military lap has been seen hundreds of thousands of times.

An extract from the same sequence was shared on Twitter an hour later by the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications – a government agency created to counter Russian disinformation that aims to “develop proactive narratives” and “boost Ukraine’s image” – and racked up nearly 900,000 views.

Patron is so adored in Ukraine and beyond that he has inspired various forms of fan art in his honour. It is loved by children and helps them understand safety rules in mine-threatened areas, Zelensky said when presenting the award in the capital Kyiv. Educating residents about the dangers of mines has been an ongoing effort for officials in Chernihiv and other regions after reports that retreating Russian forces left buried land mines and jury-rigged bombs in large parts of the country.

Along with receiving a state award on Sunday, Patron also met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who was on an unannounced visit to the country and patted his pockets during the ceremony in an apparent attempt to locate treats. The dog was “extremely delighted to meet a true friend from Ukraine”, the Reported SES“even though Mr. Trudeau didn’t find a piece of Patron’s favorite cheese.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ukrainian bomb-sniffing dog named patron honored by Zelensky
Ukrainian bomb-sniffing dog named patron honored by Zelensky
Newsrust - US Top News
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