Bandera cats at war in the Donbas (photo report)

19012320_12366218_511930112312434_2800079252924848539_n_1_729x547_large

 

2015/12/29 • Stories from the Front, War in the Donbas

ATO soldiers love their battalion cats, share food with them, give them shelter and even dedicate poems to their feline friends, whose soft purring echoes among the ruined buildings of the Donbas.

Cats can be seen in every trench, at every checkpoint and on the front lines. There are homeless cats, cats abandoned by civilians fleeing the war, cats that were born during ATO, and cats running from sadistic mercenaries.

19012321_12313857_419182708281583_7092313921719336403_n_large

Ukrainian soldiers treat their feline friends with great love and respect as cats provide both affection, comfort and warmth. They are considered reliable companions and some even chase and catch scavenging mice (if they’re not too lazy, of course).

19012544_1___847_729x547_large

One soldier even composed a poem dedicated to Mr. Cat.

19012321_kfkfk

Others express their affection for their cats through photos.

19012321_12274575_419182488281605_2021495457007686535_n

 

19012322_12274547_419182618281592_3708130527179741868_n

 

19012322_12039290_1196946937001442_4789011704663103680_n_large

19012322_12391953_1043661862340422_7719523055580876459_n

19012322_12391003_1081553695196414_779341560953822824_n_large

19012323_11012830_1195207780508691_5059709873967382563_n_large

19012323_12342444_1659806940934356_5240810910407568558_n

19012324_12308671_419181928281661_29301068805258911_n_large

19012324_12299369_419182771614910_4569087034395160010_n

Dogs are rarely seen on the front lines as they tend to bark and make more noise. They must be specially trained and are used mainly for particular assignments. Army cats don’t make much noise and stick close to their masters….

19013555_11261860_997341636973375_8363817179133201737_n

The soldiers love to watch trench kittens walking among the guards, barricades and armoured fighting vehicles.

Volunteers who travel through the occupied territories report that they occasionally see wild dogs near terrorist checkpoints, but hardly ever any cats. And there’s a reason for this… a horrible one, in fact. The terrorists capture stray cats and use them to disable tripwires.

The terrorists spray the tails of the cats with turpentine or gasoline and point the unfortunate animals towards mined fields. To make sure these operations work, the terrorists tie a burning stick to the tails of the cats and force them to run into the fields. There are no more cats left in these occupied territories…

Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers find it more difficult to understand violence towards animals than violence towards humans because people, unlike animals, can resist and defend themselves.

When asked whether killing a cat is less cruel than killing a human being, one soldier answered that a human being has a choice and can fight back, whereas an animal in flames is helpless.

Using animals for demining is not new for the Soviet-Russian army. Anti-tank dogs carried explosives to tanks, armoured vehicles and other military targets. (They were intensively trained by the Soviet and Russian military forces between 1930 and 1996 and used in 1941–1942 against German tanks in World War II. Although the original dog training routine was to leave the bomb and retreat so that the bomb would be detonated by the timer, this routine failed and was replaced by an impact detonation procedure which killed the dog in the process-Ed).

Soldiers also told us the story of one army cat that climbed into an APC and now regularly patrols the frontlines.

P.S. Cats can also keep you warm and comfy on a cold winter night… just hug kitty to your bosom and you’ll both feel snug and warm.

 

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Source: Patrioty Ukrayiny

Tags: , , ,

  • Pawel Michal Bartolik

    Cats of Bandera? Surely better than dogs of Putin. :)

    • Brent

      more like the “rats”of Putin!!!

      • Oknemfrod

        Almost lends itself to rhyming: There was a battle, Putler rats / Were gutted by Bandera cats…

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    Can we adopt one?