Patron (dog)

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Patron sitting next to his Golden Paw Award awarded by the Irish Kennel Club, June 2022.
BreedJack Russell Terrier
Born (2019-07-20) July 20, 2019 (age 4)
Chernihiv, Ukraine
Nation fromUkrainian
EmployerState Emergency Service of Ukraine
OwnerMykhailo Iliev
Named afterUkrainian word for bullet cartridge
Awards Order for Courage, Third Class.

Patron (Ukrainian: Патрон, pronounced [pɐˈtrɔn]; lit.'cartridge'; born 20 July 2019[1]) is a detection dog and mascot for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.[2][3] He is a Jack Russell Terrier.[4]

Patron first came to prominence during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, during which Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded him the Order for Courage for his work in locating and defusing unexploded ordnance left behind by Russian troops.[5] As of 8 May 2022, Patron has found 236 such devices.[6]

Life and fame[edit]

Patron was born on 20 July 2019. He was purchased as a puppy by Mykhailo "Misha" Iliev (born c. 1990), a bomb disposal technician from Chernihiv who has worked with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine since 2014. Iliev, who later became Patron's exclusive handler, originally intended to give the puppy to his son as a pet but soon began training Patron as a detection dog instead.[7]

Patron standing next to two defused Russian land mines.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Patron and Iliev began working to neutralize unexploded Russian bombs and land mines in and around Iliev's home city of Chernihiv. Patron became a celebrity after the State Emergency Service posted a video of him on Facebook on 19 March 2022.[8][citation needed] The video, in which Patron can be seen sniffing around debris and sitting in Iliev's lap while wearing a small bulletproof vest personalized with his name in Cyrillic letters, went viral, garnering over 267,000 views and 16,000 reactions.[8]

On the same day, the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information Policy's Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security reposted the video on Twitter, where it has received more than 877,000 views, 27,000 likes, and 6,500 retweets since 19 July 2022. In addition to his help in demining efforts, Patron has been actively involved in charity work, making visits to patients at the Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital [uk] in Kyiv.[citation needed]


Patron in Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital, April 2022.

Due to his viral fame, dangerous work, and charity appearances, Patron has been described as an "unexpected social media weapon" for Ukraine.[9] On 1 September 2022, Ukrposhta began selling charity stamps featuring Patron to raise money for animal shelters and a demining vehicle.[10]

According to experts, the growth of Patron's popularity can be part of the Ukrainian information strategy during Russia's invasion (and Ukrainian propaganda as a whole).[11][12] They noted that the use of viral videos with dramatic stories help contribute to forming the desired narrative regarding the war while in Patron's case, it has the added benefit of raising awareness of the problem of mine-clearing in de-occupied territories of Ukraine.[13][14][15]


On 5 May 2022, Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky announced the creation of the International Coordination Center for Humanitarian Demining, with Patron as its mascot.[16][17] Four days later, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, accompanied by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, jointly honored Patron and Iliev with the Order for Courage, Third Class, thanking them for their service to Ukraine.[18][19]

On 27 May 2022, Patron was awarded the Palm Dog Award for "DogManitarian Work" at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.[20]

To mark the celebration of World Children's Day, on 20 November 2022, UNICEF signed a memorandum of understanding with Patron's representatives to recognize Patron as the "Goodwill AmbassaDOG" in Ukraine.[21]

In January 2023, a Patron YouTube channel was opened with an animated version of Patron starring.[22] The cartoons, with English and Polish subtitles, were produced with USAID support and in partnership with UNICEF.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Пес Патрон відзначає день народження". 20 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Ukraine war: Minesweeping dog helps clear Chernihiv of Russian explosives". BBC News. 16 April 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  3. ^ Joe Golder; Graeme Murray (10 April 2022). "Brave bomb squad dog helps disposal experts in Ukraine clean up Russian landmines". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  4. ^ Treisman, Rachel (20 April 2022). "Meet Patron, a bomb-sniffing Jack Russell terrier who has become a Ukrainian hero". NPR.
  5. ^ "Ukraine's top canine deminer receives award from Zelensky". CNN. 8 May 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  6. ^ "The people of Ukraine and Canada stand side by side in the struggle for freedom against Russian tyranny - Volodymyr Zelenskyy following a meeting with Justin Trudeau in Kyiv". Official website of the President of Ukraine. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  7. ^ Treisman, Rachel (9 May 2022). "Patron the bomb-sniffing dog cements his hero status with a presidential medal". National Public Radio. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Новини від Патрона! Наш войовничий песик - талісман чернігівських піротехніків продовжує нести службу! З початку війни він разом із саперами ДСНС знешкодив майже 90 вибухонебезпечних предметів. Дякуємо, друже, за невтомну працю🤝!". State Emergency Service of Ukraine. 19 March 2022. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  9. ^ Maud, Sydney (11 July 2022). "Ukraine's unexpected social media weapon: Patron the dog". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Ukrposhta started selling Patron the Dog charity stamps". Euromaidan Press. 1 September 2022. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  11. ^ Gavin Mortimer (24 May 2022). "Ukraine and a short history of dogs in war". The Spectator. Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  12. ^ "История Патрона: пес, который превратился из обычного питомца в сапера и мировую звезду". 15 May 2022. Archived from the original on 3 November 2022. Популярность Патрона выросла настолько, что журналисты New York Times даже предположили, что это спланированная кампания со стороны украинской пропаганды
  13. ^ Anushka Patil (8 May 2022). "A bomb-sniffing dog named Patron received state honors from Zelensky". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 9 May 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  14. ^ Christian Schlüter (9 May 2022). "Patron, der Superschnüffler: Präsident Selenskyj zeichnet Minensuchhund aus" (in German). Berliner Zeitung. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  15. ^ Thompson, Stuart A.; Alba, Davey (3 March 2022). "Fact and Mythmaking Blend in Ukraine's Information War". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  16. ^ "The International Coordination Center for Humanitarian Demining has been established at the Ministry of Internal Affairs". The Odessa Journal. 5 May 2022. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  17. ^ "В Україні створено Міжнародний координаційний центр з питань гуманітарного розмінування" (in Ukrainian). Інтерфакс-Україна. 5 May 2022.
  18. ^ Павлюк, Олег (8 May 2022). "Пес Патрон отримав нагороду від Зеленського". Суспільне | Новини (in Ukrainian). Суспільне.
  19. ^ Patron the mine-sniffing dog awarded medal by President Zelensky,
  20. ^ "Ukrainian Mine-Sniffer Wins 'DogManitarian' Award at Cannes Film Festival". Storyful. 28 May 2022. Retrieved 30 May 2022 – via Yahoo! News.
  21. ^ "ЮНІСЕФ і улюбленець дітей Пес Патрон підписали меморандум про співпрацю до Всесвітнього дня дитини" [On World Children's Day UNICEF and Ukraine's children's favorite dog, Patron, signed a Memorandum of Understanding]. UNICEF Ukraine (in Ukrainian). 20 November 2022. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  22. ^ a b Yana Osadcha (10 January 2023). ""Destroyed Bridge": the first series of the animated series about the Psalm of Patron was released. VIDEO". Zhyttia ("Life") (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 10 January 2023.

External links[edit]

External video
video icon Zelenskiy awards medal to bomb-sniffing dog. YouTube video (0:45). 9 May 2022