A bomb-sniffing canine named Patron obtained state honors from Zelensky.

A bomb-sniffing canine named Patron obtained state honors from Zelensky.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has routinely ended his nightly wartime addresses by saying state awards for Ukraine’s troopers. On Sunday, he honored a fighter who is probably the nation’s smallest — a bit canine named Patron.

Patron, whose identify means “ammo” in Ukrainian, helps sniff out Russian mines and explosives within the northeastern metropolis of Chernihiv and acts as a mascot of the nation’s State Emergency Service.

The canine has discovered greater than 200 explosive units and was taught pyrotechnic work by his proprietor, Mykhailo Iliev of the Civil Protection Service, Mr. Zelensky stated.

Patron’s rise to fame could also be one other side of Ukrainian efforts to regulate the conflict’s narrative with viral messaging — specialists h ave stated that dramatic wartime tales are vital elements of the nation’s info technique. On the Ukrainian S.E.S.’s Facebook web page, the place they’ve been sharing updates on Patron’s work, a video of him placing on his vest and clambering right into a serviceman’s lap has been seen lots of of hundreds of instances.


A clip of the identical footage was shared to Twitter an hour later by Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications — a authorities company established to counter Russian disinformation that goals to “develop proactive narratives” and “strengthen Ukraine’s image” — and racked up almost 900,000 views.

Patron is so adored in Ukraine and past that he’s impressed numerous types of fan art in his honor. He’s beloved by youngsters, and helps them perceive security guidelines in areas with mine threats, Mr. Zelensky stated whereas presenting the award in Kyiv, the capital. Informing residents of the hazards of mines has been an ongoing effort for officers in Chernihiv and different areas after studies that retreating Russian forces left buried land mines and jury-rigged bombs throughout giant elements of the nation.

Along with receiving a state award on Sunday, Patron additionally met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who was on an unannounced go to to the nation and patted his pockets through the ceremony in an obvious try to find treats. The canine was “extremely pleased to meet a true friend of Ukraine,” the S.E.S. reported, “even though Mr. Trudeau did not find a piece of Patron’s favorite cheese.”

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