Russia invaded Ukraine over 250 days ago and we can say with certainty that there is no such thing as a bright side to the war. Even if you’re winning, you’re losing. Since the beginning of the war, we have heard gruesome stories of how families were separated, relocated, massacred, how people lost their homes, their loved ones, their own lives. 

People not only cried over people they were close to but also their animals. They got killed as well or got lost or needed to be left behind while evacuating. However, we have proof that the animals that did survive may have found a new home and may have been taken care of by the soldiers that remained in Ukraine to defend their country.

You may have seen several TikTok videos of soldiers sharing wholesome videos of playing with animals as they are quite viral on the platform, but there are a lot more places to find the sweet interactions. One of them is the Instagram account uaarmy_animals that shares photos and videos of happy soldiers with happy animals in the middle of these traumatizing times.

More info: Instagram | Twitter

The Instagram account was created by Vitalyi and he has not only this Instagram account which is still growing in followers and now sits just under a thousand, but also a Twitter account with the same name that has almost 82k followers.

Bored Panda was able to get in touch with Vitalyi and we got to know that he is a soldier of The Armed Forces Of Ukraine. He isn’t a professional soldier and he doesn’t like war but joined the Army to protect Ukraine from the Russian invasion because as he said, he doesn’t have a choice but to do that.

We wanted to know what the moods of soldiers are after all these tiring months and Vitalyi doesn’t try to sugar-coat it and tells us how it is: “I feel bad, like all the Ukrainians. Because war is bad.” However, what they also feel is motivation. “But we will fight to the end for our country. We want to live both as people and as a nation.”

Vitalyi also feels grateful for all the support that Ukraine receives from friendly countries. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of the Western countries for the help they provide to Ukrainians. Believe me, both your weapons save us, and your moral support is very important for all of us.”

#5

Uaarmy-Animals-Instagram

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harpling
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some snuggle a teddy bear while sleeping. Some snuggle a hooman leg while sleeping.

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The creator of the accounts also shared the story of how he started posting photos of animals he met in the war. Turns out, there are quite a lot of animals at all positions or checkpoints where Ukrainian soldiers live and serve and in the frontline as well. Mostly cats and dogs as these animals were abandoned by their owners and now roam the streets and fields alone.

Soldiers adopting them comes just naturally: “Often these homeless animals and the Ukrainian army soldiers get to know each other and become friends. <...> Many Ukrainian people are rural people who are attached to agriculture and love animals. We love animals and many of us have cats and dogs and other pets at home. It often hurts soldiers to see animals without owners and they take them in.”

#7

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harpling
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Doggie says, "This hooman is mine now. I claims him. Paws off!"

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The soldiers just start feeding the animals and they become their pets. The animals cheer them up and also are quite useful as well. Vitalyi reveals that cats “catch mice at block posts located in the fields, thereby helping the military.” Dogs help the soldiers by staying alert and keeping their guard, warning them if someone approaches.

The soldier also has a cat himself: “I also took the first cat from the checkpoint where I served, and I took the second cat from a friend, from his checkpoint. So I joke that I have two cats and they are all military.”

This is not a side of a soldier’s life that is talked about a lot and people rarely think about such things, so that was probably one of the reasons why Vitalyi decided to share it online. But he also just wanted to show that Ukrainian soldiers are open-hearted people.

With this account, Vitalyi shows the soft side of soldiers and he tries to collect donations for those who have difficulty feeding their pets. If you would like to contribute, he accepts PayPal donations that you can send to the email vitaliys007@gmail.com.

The soldier told us, “I love helping both people and animals. And my command willingly helps me and allows me to do this.”

Some people may think that animal lives are less important than human ones and the soldiers put too much effort into helping them survive when they have a country to protect, but Vitalyi thinks that animals have an important role in the war.

He shares his thoughts with us: “Animals help us to remain human and remember our families, our homes, our own pets at home. The animals we live with in this war become our family for a while, and we care for them. I have dozens of military acquaintances who took home dogs or cats who lived with them at checkpoints and military positions. Now these animals are real family members.”

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My O My
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These picures make me smile. It looks like the soldiers have found emotional support animals and the critters have found emotional support humans

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#13

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Imagine being a baby stuck in a war. I want them all to have better lives from now on.

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As a farewell, Vitalyi gave wonderful advice: “Love your animals because they love you. Scratch your pets when you read this interview and the world will become at least a little kinder.”

So don’t forget to give your pets some love and scratches after reading this article, follow the soldiers and their pets on Twitter or Instagram and let us know what thoughts you had while looking through the photos as we love hearing your insight!

#15

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Natalie H
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Imagine how terrified some of these animals must have been. Mr. Kozak is a hero💟☮️

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#16

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Best way to relax after yet another hard day fighting for your country.

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#17

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poor pup. Doesn’t realize their life is going to be substantially better from now on.

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#18

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like an older dog, who just wanted to spend their golden years peacefully, until that rat bastard Putin decided to pull the ultimate d**k move.

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#21

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The look on this cat’s face makes my heart just break for them. May their life be safe, happy, and full of undying love from now on!

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#22

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#23

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Lakota Wolf
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He's got himself a lil girlfriend XD (Calico cats are almost always female.) Also, it's so heartbreaking to see that he has his blood type on a patch next to his insignia. I know why it's there and it's actually a good thing (in case he was knocked unconscious and needed a transfusion) but it's especially poignant to see. We wouldn't need to have patches with a soldier's blood type on them if we didn't need soldiers if we'd all just stop fighting each other. I know that's a fantasy, but... sigh.

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#24

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heather Taylor
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So many beautiful guardians rescued by the heroes in Ukraine.

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#25

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a huge rescue this baby must’ve been! Totally worth it, though.

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#26

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M O'Connell
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I learned something interesting from this picture. Apparently Russia uses the Janský blood-typing system (I, II, III, IV) instead of the Landsteiner system (A, B, AB, O). You cannot know whose medic will be treating you after battle.

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#27

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Natalie H
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They’re both smiling 💟💟☮️

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#31

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Doggy’s like “What? You’re bringing the CAT with us?” And the cat’s like, “You’re damned right he is. Suck it, sled dog”.

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#32

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Look at that little face! Beautiful eyes and such a soulful expression!

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#35

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harpling
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Gasp! Hooman got me a whole cow to play with!"

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#36

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poor cat. But the worst has passed for them. Their life is going to get infinitely better from now on.

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#37

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The way this kitten looks up at their rescuer is priceless. It look like they’re saying, “Have I told you lately that you’re my hero and I love you?”

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#39

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pupper is definitely happy and in love with their rescuer!

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#40

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So happy these babies are being rescued, given the medical attention they sorely need, then finding safe and loving homes to live in!

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#42

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Cautious at first, then so relieved and happy to be safe in a human’s lap again.

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#43

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poor pup. But they’re safe now. No one’s ever going to hurt them again.

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#44

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It’s like the cats are so relieved and thankful to be found and rescued, the braver one is pouring out their love and gratitude to their new hero.

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#45

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think this is a repeat. Still want the cat to be happy and live a pampered life from now on.

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#48

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Getting the ultimate shoulder massage from a true professional!

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#49

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Natalie H
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This soldier looks so young. I’m glad he had a support friend 💟☮️🇺🇦

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#50

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M O'Connell
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know this is an animal post and that wartime is not a joke, but where are you stationed that you need that particular camo pattern?

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