In the war, at most difficult moments, nothing can provide as much support as a true friend. It is not necessarily a man, because man is likely to show weakness, unlike dogs. Four-legged friends of our soldiers do not just stay constantly close to them in eastern Ukraine, some are true defenders of Ukraine.
UCMC publishes the translated version of Espreso’s article.
Deminer Stanislav and his dog named Lars rescue people from explosives in ATO zone. Lars is a German shepherd. He is eight years old and is a four-legged officer of the Demining Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The dog is a hereditary military: his mother served in the Interior Ministry, and his father – in the ranks of the State Border Service. “I started training Lars when he was six months old. He is very capable and at the age of one began his service at the Demining Centre,” said Stanislav.
Lars is an experienced deminer, he served in Kosovo. In ATO, Lars once saved the lives of our guys. The soldiers were riding in the car when the dog gave a signal of danger. There was a mine on the road. If it was not for Lars, they all would blow up.
The heroic dog “works” at the Ministry of Defense and eats ordinary soldier food – cereals and canned food. “Lars also eats dry food, and after successful operations I try to spoil him. Sausage, preferably smoked sausage – that’s his reward,” says Stanislav.
Alabai Diesel has a tragic story but, luckily, with a happy ending. People took a very aggressive dog to the checkpoint of the 25th airborne brigade in Luhansk region and asked to shoot him. But the paratroopers refused to do it. Instead, they began to clear up the dog’s story. It turned out that the dog’s owner had left Ukraine, and gave the dog to the security guards at the tank farm. The local “cynologist” decided to train the domestic Diesel, and used electroshock for this purpose. One day, Diesel could not stand the abuse any longer and bit the incapable teacher. That was why the dog was taken to the paratroopers to be shot.
Soldiers took care of Diesel, fed and walked him, and took him everywhere with them: the dog was at a lot of checkpoints. But his negative trait remained – Diesel did not let anyone come near him at night. The paratroopers found an owner for the dog outside the dangerous ATO zone, gave him in good hands in Dnipropetrovsk.
While the dog lived with the military, he had his page in Facebook.
Dogs – OUN members
Dogs, rescued in ATO zone, became the OUN battalion volunteers. “Fleeing from war, local residents left their pets, and they came to us. The soldiers give them food; we can even say that they completely provide them, humanly sharing their simple soldier’s rations. And the dogs offer their amazing faithfulness in response and are ready to grab the throat of each separatist who will dare to sneak up on us in darkness,” said Borys Humenyuk, battalion fighter.
When the adversary starts shelling our positions, dogs cuddle up to people and start crying loudly. There are dead, contused and wounded among the animals, and there are those who experience deep depression and stress. In short, everything what people experience.
She latched onto our guys, and eventually stopped being afraid of rifles and explosions. She served the servicemen truly, became a devoted friend, companion and assistant.
Once, when special operations soldiers were fulfilling an operational task, they were surrounded by Russian troops. Hilza was there all the time and sat quietly in the trench. The enemy began to attack. Our soldiers had to retreat. In the rush of battle Hilza got lost. “We lost the truest friend, and that is why were sick at heart. But faint hope that she is alive and we will find it still flickered in us,” tells us Oleh Koshovyi, special operations soldier, Interior Ministry battalion “Mykolaiv.”
“One morning, I heard my comrade calling me and saw Hilza. She was dirty, skinny, hungry, but faithful to our soldier’s friendship.” Since then Hilza was always close by. She slept with the soldiers in the bus, served us truly and was all over us. The servicemen returned to their native Mykolaiv and brought her with them.
Poltava police dog Felicia was awarded a gold medal for service in the ATO area.
Throughout thirty days, dog specialist Serhiy Kuzmenko together with Felicia were searching explosives, ammunition and weapons in Donbas cities, liberated from terrorists. Felicia who has been “working” in the police for 6 years has been awarded a gold medal, diploma and special food.
Dogs – volunteers
Dogs that cannot go to the front are helping as they can in the rear. The nationwide exhibition of dogs was conducted In Berdychiv.
Funds raised at the show were spent on the needs of wounded soldiers. In particular, on the treatment of wounded servicemen from Berdychiv who are in hospitals.
According to Nelya Byshko, exhibition organizer, not only the town people but also visitors from other regions collected money for servicemen.
Andriy Blanar served in the town of Popasna (Luhansk region). When patrolling the town, he saw Staffordshire terrier in the street.
The dog was skinny and frightened. He ran along the street and tried to hide somewhere. Andriy began to ask neighbors about the dog owners. They told him that the owners went to Russia, and abandoned the dog.
The neighbors informed that the dog’s name is Karat, and he is just over a year old. “I spoke to the dog; it came and clung onto to me,” says Andriy. So, Karat found a new owner and served out the remainder of his term with him. Now Karat lives in Andriy’s native village. Andriy built him a new doghouse and open-air cage.
A puppy named Tuzyk is living in the 25th Airborne Brigade camp near Debaltseve. To outward appearances the dog is a mongrel, but he has a noble spirit.
“He is very smart. First, he stole slippers and boots. But then he grew up and began to catch on quickly. Once, we saw Tuzyk digging holes and then lying there. We were joking that he is a real soldier who entrenched himelf. When the enemy was shelling us using “Grad” systems, the dog was sitting with us in the trench,” the military told us about their friend.
Alaskan malamute named Yurab went to the front with his owner – Vyacheslav, Kyiv resident. The military surgeon went to serve in the National Guard and took his four legged friend with him to the ATO area.
Yurab and Vyacheslav were at the forefront in Donetsk, and when our positions were shelled with “Grad,” Vyacheslav decided to save his friend’s life at any cost. Volunteers took the dog out from the ATO area. Yurab was awarded a chicken barbecue for his courage and endurance.