Rishi Sunak has met Patron, a Ukrainian Jack Russell known for its explosive-sniffing skills. The Prime Minister knelt down to pet the dog during his visit today in Kyiv.
British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons shared a photo online of the pair to show “when the UK Prime Minister met Patron”.
The three-year old dog has met with other world leaders in recent months, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
He, described by popular YouTuber Anton Somewhere as “the most famous bomb-sniffing dog in Ukraine”, attended the first “Four-legged defenders” award ceremony in September, hosted in Kyiv.
Patron has also become the symbol of several media campaigns to raise attention about certain aspects of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
A selection of postal stamps was launched in the same month depicting the Jack Russell, with a circulation of one million copies.
Ukrposhta said it hoped to raise around $1.5million through the scheme in order to purchase the Armtrac 400 demining machine.
Patron also features on a number of advertising campaigns, with images of a bus stop in Kyiv showing the dog below a banner reading: “Patron warns. If you see a suspicious object, do not approach, do not touch, call 101.”
An official Instagram account for the dog has built up just shy of 375,000 followers.
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The Ukrainian President responded: “Thank you, Rishi Sunak.
“With friends like you by our side, we are confident in our victory.
“Both of our nations know what it means to stand up for freedom.”
On the visit, a Number 10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister is in Ukraine today for his first visit to Kyiv to meet President Zelensky and confirm continued UK support.”
Mr Sunak said he was “humbled” to be in Ukraine.
More such visits are likely to follow in the near future.