Patron, the mine-sniffing dog, received an award for his “dedicated service” by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine during a recent news conference, according to Reuters.

Pup protects the people of Ukraine: Patron — meaning “ammo” in Ukrainian — received a presidential medal for detecting more than 200 undetonated explosives since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, according to NPR.

  • “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 neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat,” said Zelenskyy in a statement, according to Reuters.
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How does Patron find the explosives? Being trained to detect the smell of gunpowder, Patron alerts his owner when he smells it. His owner then works with a team to find and detonate the explosive devices, NPR reported,

About Patron: With over 240,000 followers on Instagram, Patron has become a symbol of patriotism for Ukraine, according to NPR.

  • Mykhailo Iliev, Patron’s owner, originally purchased the dog to be a pet for his son. Since then, Patron has been professionally trained by cynologists to sniff out bombs that have been placed in Ukraine by Russian forces, according to NPR.
  • When he isn’t protecting the people of Ukraine, Patron spends his time doing charity work and playing with patients at the Okhmatdyt children’s hospital in Kyiv, tweeted The Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.