Ukraine: Patron the mine-sniffing dog is awarded medal
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Famed mine-detecting dog Patron has become the face of a new public safety and awareness campaign across Ukraine. Patron has found recognition for his bomb-detecting efforts since the invasion got underway, and has been an iconic part of Ukraine’s resistance to Moscow.
The Jack Russell terrier is part of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine’s efforts to clear landmines.
He has been credited with clearing hundreds of mines, and has become a symbol of Ukrainian strength.
His name is understood to mean “ammunition”, or “bullet” in Ukrainian.
In a new public safety campaign, the two-year-old Jack Russell is pictured in his specialist jacket, close to images of explosives.
The caption reads: “Patron warns. If you see a suspicious object, do not approach, do not touch, call 101.”
The campaigns popped up over the weekend in central Kyiv.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, previously bestowed a medal on the terrier for services to Ukraine during the Russian invasion.
He referenced the tiny dog’s ability to educate on, as well as eradicate, dangerous landmines.
The Ukrainian leader said in a statement following the ceremony back in May: “Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines.
“And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper – Patron – who helps not only to neutralise explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was present at the ceremony, and the dog has also met US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a visit to Mr Zelensky’s office last month.
Back in June, he was immortalised in a mural in the Ukrainian capital, and various social media accounts have been created in his honour.
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Patron has been described by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine as a pup who “helps his owner every day in the fight against the dangerous consequences of military actions”.
Writing on the organisation’s Facebook page, the service called “the little dog” a “true symbol of fighting” against the Russian forces in Ukraine.
The page added: “The war will surely end and every boy and girl who can finally walk freely in their beloved streets should know that the enemy has left behind many insidious “gifts”.
“And we remind you: Great heroes are not necessarily big, but explosive objects are necessarily dangerous.”
The post ended with a plea for members of the public to follow safety advice when approaching potentially explosive devices.
It read: “Remember! Every time you don’t follow the rules of safe behaviour with explosive objects – somewhere in Chernihiv region one Patron is upset.”
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