Patron, a heroic Russell terrier recognized for detecting numerous explosive devices during Ukraine’s conflict, was recently honored with a service medal. The award was personally handed over by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As reported by the New York Times, since Russia’s invasion in February, Patron has pinpointed over 200 explosives. The little canine hero caught wider attention in March, following a video shared by Ukraine’s State Emergency Service that showcased his diligent work.
During the medal ceremony, Zelensky remarked, “I want to honor the Ukrainian heroes who are diligently clearing our land from mines. Alongside them is the remarkable sapper dog Patron. He not only aids in defusing explosives but also educates our kids on safety protocols in mined areas,” as cited by the BBC.
Patron’s dedicated trainer and owner, Mykhailo Iliev, was also recognized with a medal. Notably, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was present. A playful moment was captured when Trudeau pretended to search his pockets, seemingly for Patron’s favorite treat, cheese, as jestingly noted by the State Emergency Service on Facebook.
With a sense of smell far superior to ours, young Patron, at just 2 years of age, has probably saved numerous lives in Ukraine. The Times highlighted the danger posed by land mines and makeshift bombs left behind by retreating Russian forces, which pose a lethal risk to unaware civilians. Yet, many of these dangers stand no chance of remaining concealed with Patron around. Besides working with Iliev to detect mines and educating children, Patron is also involved in charity work, representing Ukraine’s resilience. One notable portrayal of him, as reported by the BBC, shows Patron humorously marking a Russian missile.
While the medal is a wonderful recognition, we’re rooting for someone to reward him with a generous portion of his favorite cheese. He’s earned it!
— SPRAVDI — Stratcom Centre (@StratcomCentre) May 1, 2022