Military Dog Abandoned By Russia Joins Ukraine Against Putin Troops


A Belgian Shepherd dog left behind by Russian soldiers in the Mykolaiv region has been taken in by Ukrainian personnel and reportedly put to work in the wide-ranging efforts to clear explosive devices left behind by Russian troops, helping save Ukrainian lives and putting whatever is left of presumed previous military training to good use. It’s apparently about 3 years old.

“Max has become a real favorite with the guards,” one Ukrainian service member said. “We can’t understand why the Russians would leave behind such a lovely animal. Ukrainians love dogs, they regard them as part of the family.” The dog — now known as Max — was apparently found still wearing a Russian collar. A Newsweek report, summarizing apparent revelations from the Ukrainian news outlet known as Euromaidan Press, said a man who found Max “gave the lost dog to the Soldiers of the 19th Regiment of Ukraine’s National Guard, who have taken him in as their own.” Belgian Shepherd dogs are “often trained on how to sniff out explosive devices as well as carry out search and rescue duties,” Newsweek adds. Max originally understood basic directives in Russian, and soldiers involved in caring for Max and putting him to work began training him in Ukrainian.

There’s another dog that’s prominently been involved in Ukraine’s defense: Patron (whose name isn’t the English word “patron” but is the Ukrainian word for “bullet”) is a Jack Russell terrier who’s detected over 200 unexploded pieces of Russian weaponry left behind in areas the Russians abandoned. The dog weighs less than the amount that would provide the pressure to set off many Russian explosives. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded Patron with a medal for his work in clearing what departing Russian ground troops have left behind. Mykhailo — Patron’s apparent owner — explained that it just worked out for the dog to be involved in these efforts. “My wife is also in the services and there was no one at home to look after him, so I have taken him to work with me every day since he was two months old,” he said. “This is his life, it is all he has known. It is just a matter of chance that we have such a capable dog. He is not a service dog, he is my pet, but he has an amazing nose and is an avid learner. He was meant to be a show dog but his destiny was to save people’s lives, not to win prizes.” The dog was trained for six months to detect explosive materials. Russians left such materials across Ukraine, including in areas around the country’s capital, Kyiv.