3 groups of pet impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Russia commenced its invasion of Ukraine last night about five hours ago. It was on the radio. The West is fairly powerless. Not one country in the West is going to help protect Ukraine in terms of troops on the ground. It just won’t happen. They will apply sanctions but Putin is immune to sanctions and so are his cronies. They say that they are used to sanctions. And Russia has got its friend in the East, namely China.

Putin planned this invasion years ago. It is almost as if it was a lifetime mission. All the diplomacy in the world was a waste of time. He was laughing at the West when leaders trooped over to his country to sit at the other end of that 20-foot table looking foolish. Think of Macron for instance. Putin believes that Ukraine is part of Russia; that it is Russia. He has the imperialistic objectives of a dictator. And he hates the democracy in Ukraine. It is a threat to his dictatorship. It undermines his desire to be in power ’til the day he dies. He needs to remove it and create citizens who are in fear of him as the Russian citizens are.

Anyway, in this post I want to think about the companion animals of Ukraine during this bad time. I see three types. There are those animals that were abandoned in eastern Ukraine during the war there about seven years ago which meant that those two regions, Luhansk and Donetsk, in the East were split off from the rest of Ukraine. Some of the pets got lucky and some didn’t. There will be many more abandoned companion animals and it is happening as I write this. There will be cats and dogs all over Ukraine with no one to care for them. In that fighting of 2014 more than 2 million Ukrainians were displaced from their homes. A natural consequence of that is very many abandoned pets. The fighting was between pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainians.

A projected 5 million Ukrainians will be on the move to try and escape the current fighting. They will leave their companion animals behind in many instances. That’s the first group: abandoned pets.

The second group of pets are going to be the ones who are killed by the bombing, shelling and shooting. On the news this morning there is clear news of explosions after a hellish barrage and a mad scramble for shelters. This is Eastern Ukraine again where Putin started his invasion. I’m also told that troops have come down from Belarus. The Belarusian president is very friendly with Putin. He allowed massed troops to form up in this country to move south to invade Ukraine.

RELATED: Increase of 27% in cat and dog abandonments predicted for next five years

Moscow has sent troops into the Eastern Donbas region where in the previous fighting more than 13,000 people have been killed since 2014 and where the Russians used little or no precision-guided armaments and therefore there were lots of unnecessary deaths. And by deaths, I mean people and companion animals. Think of the terror that both cats and dogs will sense when bombs go off around them. It hardly bears thinking about. More than 7,000 civilians have been wounded in nearly 8 years of conflict in that region.

The third group of cats and dogs I would like to mention today are those joining Ukrainian troops in trenches close to the Russian border. Troops stationed near the Ukrainian village of Krymske, close to the border with Russia, have been joined by cats and dogs in the trenches. The conditions are freezing but the animals have helped to boost the soldiers’ morale.

Dog becomes a friend of the Ukrainian troops in the trenches
Dog becomes a friend of the Ukrainian troops in the trenches. Photo: AFP.

Ukrainian soldiers in the trenches have found solace with stray cats and dogs. One example is a muddy and freezing trench near the town of Avdiivka (see photo above). A 21-year-old Ukrainian soldier Mykyta petted a dog adopted by the troops. He said that the dog had become a valued asset on the frontline. He remarked that: “She immediately barks or growls if the enemy is planning an attack. It’s safer and calmer with her – no wonder they say that a dog is man’s best friend”.

The invasion of Ukraine is going to cause mass suffering in companion animals. We must think of them. We must try and mitigate their pain and suffering. I predict that this will be a long war with a persistent resistance from Ukrainian people. It is hard to envisage Putin ‘winning’ the war because of this resistance. The end is very uncertain which points to irrational decision making by Putin. Because it will be a lengthy conflict which doesn’t go away, there will be a persistent level of added animal abuse and neglect which is very distressing to animal advocates.

Note: These are embedded tweets. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Putin has threatened nuclear war against the West (my interpretation but it was clear) if it interferes with Russia’s annexation of Ukraine. He made that statement in a public pronouncement on TV in an aggressive speech to the camera. It was pretty chilling. Horrible.

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Post Category: Abandoned