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A dog and a cuddly toy cow are helping in war, says Ukraine fighter

Ukraine: Former British soldier shares conditions on the frontline

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A former British soldier fighting in Ukraine has paid tribute to his units’ secret weapon in the shape of a loyal dog and a cuddly toy cow. Christopher Perryman, 38, from Durham, has been operating as a sniper on the frontline fighting with a unit of foreign fighters attached to Ukrainian forces.

The former Royal Regiment of Fusiliers soldier said he served 16 years in the British Army before heading to Ukraine, he is not a serving British soldier anymore.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk Mr Perryman said his unit had adopted the furry crewmate and named her “Ice” after she joined them when she was just “a tiny handful”.

He said: “So, the madam doggo. Her name is Ice and we bought her when she was just a tiny handful. We named her after our team. The team name Ice doesn’t stand for anything.

“There are eight of us in the team who all treat her like a princess but she has bonded with me more than anyone else, so she follows me like a shadow and she is a great blanket warmer.”

Keeping to the theme of animal assistance Mr Perryman said the mascot for his team was a toy cuddly cow strapped to the front of their vehicle.

He said: “That is the ‘combat moo moo cow’.

“Whilst clearing villages on the push for Kherson we were welcomed into civilians house to eat and sleep.

“The bedroom I was sleeping in had the cow in it as we were leaving the lads I was working with were messing about with it, so the old lady that lived in the house gave it to me.

“When we loaded up the vehicle to push on, I taped it onto handles on the bonnet.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it advises against any British nationals travelling to Ukraine.

 

Earlier this month Express.co.uk reported how an animal rescue shelter group in Ukraine have been working tirelessly over the Christmas and New Year break to save dozens of pets left stranded and injured by Russia’s brutal invasion.

Zoopatrul Ukraine ventured within 50 miles of the frontline in the east during the holiday period to rescue cats and dogs caught up in the conflict. Working with portable generators and emergency equipment at their Kyiv base, they are currently keeping warm, nursing and socialising 35 dogs and 60 cats.

The Zoopatrul Ukraine shelter is based in Irpin, in the Kyiv region, and was founded in March, just weeks after the first Russian soldiers stepped into the country.

By the end of the year, Zoopatrul had more than 70 volunteers and had ventured as far as the city of Izium, which is just 49 miles away from the frontline and had been under Russian occupation from early March to September. The city is now subject to continual Russian shelling.

Dmytro Revnyuk, Zoopatrul Ukraine’s founder, told reporter Tom Watling it was “hard to forget the eyes of one cat from Izium who was saved from a half-destroyed house”.

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