Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

How a Ukrainian reconnaissance dog escaped from Russian hybrid forces

reconnaissance
Vasya, the Ukrainian reconnaissance dog. Photo: Olena Bilozerska FB
How a Ukrainian reconnaissance dog escaped from Russian hybrid forces
Article by: Christine Chraibi
Vasya, a Ukrainian reconnaissance dog, fell into a trap in Russian-occupied Donbas. Rescuing him was going to be a risky challenge for Ukrainian soldiers. But then Vasya made an unthinkable sacrifice to get free.

This is the moving story of Vasya, a Cane Corso (Italian breed of mastiff), who served for many years in a marine corps reconnaissance platoon of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It was told by Olena Bilozerska, a former journalist who is now a soldier.

Vasya went through special schooling at different military training grounds, field duty and worked in different sectors. For months, he lived in a dugout along with other soldiers. He was their friend, mascot and a valuable reconnaissance dog.

One day Vasya disappeared. Some servicemen set out to look for him. They finally launched a drone and saw that Vasya had fallen into a trap in the enemy zone. The poor dog had become entangled in barbed wire just in front of the trenches manned by the Russian-backed militants.

It was virtually impossible to organize a rescue team, because Vasya was on enemy territory and it was way too difficult to move across that terrain unnoticed. However, the Ukrainian team refused to give up and discussed how best to rescue their four-legged friend.

But, Vasya beat them to the punch!

Believe it or not, he chewed off his paw and returned home on three legs! Vasya refused to remain in captivity and preferred to maim himself rather than to be shot or taken prisoner.

reconnaissance
Vasya is evacuated by his soldier friends. Photo: Olena Bilozerska

Our hero Vasya has been honourabley discharged. He is now enjoying well-deserved retirement in the village home of his handler’s parents.

Dogs used in warfare have made huge contributions to many conflicts. The relationship and bonding between a dog and its handler remains the key to a dog’s ability as a war dog.

The frontline in the Donbas is populated not only by Ukrainian soldiers, but also by dogs, cats and other friendly creatures.

Many of them have been adopted by the soldiers as pets, companions, good comfort animals, guards or simply friendly neighbours. Others are professionally trained and used in reconnaissance and demining operations.

reconnaissance
Vasya is now enjoying retirement in his new village home. Photo: Olena Bilozerska
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!