War dogs are an affordable and efficient weapon, however, they have not become ubiquitous and popular with the Ukrainian army in the Donbas. Why?
In the U.S., military dogs who perished during combat tasks have numerous monuments dedicated to them. The dogs there fight both in the army and in marines. Dogs from Oketz Unit canine special forces participate in the most risky combat operations of Israel Defense Forces.
Fighters of Oketz Unit train with their four paw comrades
Once in 1980, a combat dog put his life to destroy terrorists and save people during an attack. In 2014, in Gaza sector five war dogs were killed in combat. Every dog perished in demining and combat tasks is buried in a special cemetery of Oketz Unit. A dog who was torn apart by a land mine is officially registered as missing in combat.
During Soviet times, engineering dogs were a major weapon to fight mines for the Red Army. More than 6,000 were sent to the frontline by the USSR. Over the war time, they helped to find more than 4 million of land mines and explosives!
The most famous war canine was Dzhulbars, German shepherd. He was trained by Poltava-born military, Kharkiv resident Dina Volkatz.
Dina Volkatz and Dzhulbars
Over his service, Dzulbars found 7,486 landmines and more than 150 missiles, including those on Taras Shevchenko tomb and in St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kyiv. Dzhulbars was the only canie awarded with a human military award. During the military parade in Moscow on June 24, 1945 he was carried by leading Soviet dog specialist Mazover, for Dzhulbars could not walk on his own due to numerous wounds. Mazover was a husband of Dina Volkatz.
Parade of June 24, 1945
Rough Collie Dick, the most productive engineering dog of WWII.
A canine nose remains the most efficient mine detector in modern armies.
Possible equipment of a combat dog
And how it looks in reality
As Ukraine is entering its fourth year of the war, its engineering units desperately need to have service dogs. They are an affordable and necessary weapon.
See full text of this article by Yurii Butusov for Censor.NET in Russian