Pets are also a casualty of Ukraine war

All that's left of the towns ravaged by Russia's invasion are the abandoned pets; some still standing guard by their owners' wasting bodies.



November 25, 2022 - 11:54 AM

The author’s military unit poses with its adopted dog, Yur, in Bakhmut, Ukraine, in October. (Courtesy of Yehor Firsov)

When we think of the casualties of the Ukraine war, we obviously think of the human cost — the lives lost, the wounded and injured, the families displaced. But there are other, smaller casualties of this war. They’re not announced on the television news, but I see them in the war zone every day.

They are the many homeless, abandoned animals that roam the streets of front-line towns and villages leveled by the Russian assault.

Most of these animals, and there are hundreds, even thousands, of them, are former pets — dogs and cats left behind by owners who’ve fled or died. In many places, they outnumber any remaining human residents. In fact, it seems that the less human life there is in a place, the more animal life there is.

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