A mine-sniffing dog, credited with detecting more than 200 explosives in the Ukrainian war, has been recognised for his bravery.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described Patron, the pint-sized Jack Russell terrier, as “a wonderful little sapper” (a military engineer).
And on Sunday, Patron – whose work has prevented countless injuries and deaths, and who has become a canine symbol of Ukrainian patriotism – was presented with a medal, in recognition of his dedication.
Mr Zelenskyy presented the award at a news conference in Kyiv with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Patron barked and wagged his tail, prompting laughter from the audience while Mr Trudeau patted his pockets as though looking for a dog treat.
Mr Zelenskyy said: “Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines…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.”
The award also went to Patron’s owner, Myhailo Iliev, a major in the Civil Protection Service.