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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine say that Russians are shelling animal shelters and zoos

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Rocket lands in Mykolayiv Zoo. It failed to detonate.

NEWS AND COMMENT-UKRAINE: The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues as the war grinds on into a war of attrition although recently Putin has realised that he can’t win it and therefore is scaling back. But for the last two weeks at least, the Russian army has been shelling animal shelters and zoos in Ukraine. This must have resulted in many animal deaths.

Rocket lands in Mykolayiv Zoo. It failed to detonate.

Rocket lands in Mykolayiv Zoo. It failed to detonate. Photo: Twitter.

It also probably means that those shelters that have not been shelled are taking in more animals and becoming overwhelmed with requests to save endangered pets. To that you have to add owners who are fleeing Ukraine to one of the adjacent countries of which some have decided to leave their cats behind at shelters. Although it must be said that we’ve seen many photographs of Ukrainians carrying cats and dogs on their hazardous and long journey to the West of Ukraine and thereafter to Poland.

Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site or they’re converted to a link. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.


It’s been reported that bears from the Save Wild Bear sanctuary outside Kyiv have been taken to Poland where they will be housed in a zoo until the conflict ends.

Three animal shelters in Ukraine are being assisted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in a report by the Mirror newspaper. They helped 1100 dogs that were trapped in a dangerous combat zone with dwindling food supplies and very limited medical care.

On February 27, the Horlivka Shelter in Gorlovka, eastern Ukraine was struck by a shell killed one dog. Another shelter, PIF, in Donetsk, has also been shelled and extensively damaged. Many dogs and cats were killed (see pic below of this shelter). It is so sad.

PIF shelter

PIF shelter. Photo: the shelter.

IFAW, like other organisations, did not expect the Russians to target animal shelters. This organisation is providing financial support to the animal shelters so that they can buy food and medical supplies. They consider it to unsafe for their organisation to put volunteers on the ground at the shelters and therefore they are helping them remotely.

It isn’t just the animals who are being killed by Russian shelling and missiles. You may remember the killing of a female volunteer who was delivering food to a dog shelter next year. She was surrounded by a Russian death squad who fired many bullets into her car. Her name was Anastasiia Yalanskaya.

Animal shelter workers say that they are too scared to light a fire in case it draws attention to their shelter and themselves.

P.S. I have deliberately chosen a photograph that is not upsetting. There are many upsetting images of animal abuse from this damnable invasion.

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