50 Photos Of Cats And Dogs Rescued By Ukrainian Soldiers, Shared By This Instagram Account Interview
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.
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.”
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.”
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 email@example.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.”
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!