Russian special forces Belgian Malinois dog switches to Ukrainian side after being abandoned

Ukrainian soliders and Max
(Image credit: Facebook / @NGU3039)

A Russian special forces Belgian Malinois dog has switched sides in the war and is now serving with the Ukrainian army. Abandoned by Russian troops in the Mykolaiv region after they retreated, three-year-old Max was found starving by Ukrainian soldiers who took him under their wing and nursed him back to health.

Max has been quick to repay his saviors kindness by joining them on the battlefield where he has been trained to sniff out unexploded mines. His courage has already saved the lives of countless Ukrainian soldiers who now well and truly consider him one of their own.

“From now on, the Mykolaiv National Guards have a trophy dog with the nickname “Max". The shepherd belonged to the occupiers of the Rosgvardíí жа, who captured one of the villages of the Nikolaev region,” the National Guard of Ukraine shared on their Facebook page. “From now on, Max will serve on the right side and defend Ukraine.”

Belgian Malinois dog switches to Ukrainian side

(Image credit: Facebook / @NGU3039)

Max, who has been taught to understand and obey Ukrainian commands, has quickly become a firm favorite amongst the soldiers he works with who adore dogs and regard them as very much a part of their military family. “We can't understand why the Russians would leave behind such a lovely animal,” one soldier commented.

A British special forces soldier describes Belgian Malinois as incredibly brave and intelligent dogs and expressed his surprise that the Russians had left behind such a prized asset. “They are tremendously loyal but Max has obviously been ­convinced that the Ukrainians are now his new masters.”

Max joins Patron the dog (who was recently awarded a medal of honor for saving hundreds of lives) in protecting Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline and ensuring the streets stay safe for civilians. We couldn’t be more in love with these courageous canines who are helping to ensure that justice prevails. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.