- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2022

A Russian military working dog reportedly abandoned on a battlefield in Ukraine has switched sides and is now helping Ukrainian soldiers detect explosives left by its former masters.

Max, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, was found starving by Ukrainian troops in the Mykolaiv region of southern Ukraine and later nursed back to health, according to a report by the Daily Mail newspaper.

Ukrainian troops said Max’s origin was obvious because the dog was wearing a special collar that Russian forces issue to military canines.

“We can’t understand why the Russians would leave behind such a lovely animal. Ukrainians love dogs, they regard them as part of the family,” a Ukrainian soldier told the Daily Mail.

Max has now been redeployed as a minesweeping dog after being taught to understand commands in Ukrainian, the paper reported.

The former Russian four-legged soldier isn’t the only bomb-sniffing celebrity in Ukraine. A Jack Russel terrier named Patron — Ukrainian for “Bullet” — was recently awarded a military decoration by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for detecting more than 200 mines and other explosives left behind by Russian forces.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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