Patron the mine-sniffing dog awarded medal by President Zelensky

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Patron and his owner Myhailo Iliev (left) are awarded medals by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (middle) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) during a news conference in Kyiv on SundayImage source, Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters

A Ukrainian mine-sniffing dog has been given a medal for his services to the country since Russia's invasion.

Patron, a Jack Russell terrier, was presented with the award by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky at a ceremony in Kyiv.

The two-and-a-half-year-old has been credited with helping minesweepers find more than 200 devices.

He has also become something of a national hero, a symbol of Ukraine's resistance against Russia.

"I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes - a wonderful little sapper Patron who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat," President Zelensky said during Sunday's ceremony.

The conference was also attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was visiting the country on Sunday, announcing that Canada would be sending more weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

As Patron and his owner Myhailo Iliev were presented with their medals, Prime Minister Trudeau patted his pockets as if he was looking for dog treats.

Patron has become a focal point of Ukrainian patriotism and regularly features in videos on official Ukrainian social media channels.

He has inspired a number of artworks by fans across the country, ranging from illustrations to knitted animal replicas.

Among them is a sketch of Patron urinating on a Russian missile wearing his signature safety vest.

Another features Patron in front of two backgrounds - one half showing a grassy park next to a ball, while the other features the remnants of a bombed building.

Media caption,

Watch: Minesweeping dog helps clear away Russian explosives