Some 265 service dogs and their handlers currently help the National Guard of Ukraine in its combat duties, a leading National Guard officer said today.
Colonel Mykola Urshalovych, Assistant Director for Strategic Planning of the National Guard, told a Kyiv briefing that the dogs and their handlers “inspect transport vehicles, take part in inspections aimed at uncovering weapons, ammunition, and explosives, and also participate in search missions for enemy reconnaissance teams."
In 2023, the National Guard’s dog teams have uncovered five weapons, 4475 rounds of ammunition, 35 grenades, a 122mm artillery round, two 82mm mortars, and parts of a Russian Uragan rocket system.
Dogs are also serving with other units of Ukraine’s military, police and first-responders.
‘Nika’ is the first female handler and sapper with the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) which has primary responsibility for mine and explosive remnants of war clearance across the country.
She and her German Shepherd, ‘Hosha’, are trained to look for explosive devices and material in buildings, cars and open spaces.
“One of the important practice drills is to search and identify scents that are released on a specially prepared wall,” ‘Nika’ said on a Telegram post released by SESU today, April 20. “The quantity of smell is progressively reduced so that the dog learns to maximize what’s present, even when obstacles and challenges are present.”
During the last 24 hours alone, the pyrotechnic units of the SESU were engaged 170 times; 586 pieces of explosive ordnance, including an air bomb, were detected, removed and disposed of. Territory with an area of 82 hectares was surveyed.
In total, since the beginning of the large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, SESU reports that 348,013 items of explosive ordnance and 2,891 kilograms of explosives, including 2,207 air bombs, have been detected and destroyed. Territory with an area of about 82,757 hectares has been surveyed.
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