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.