An “animal-loving” Ukrainian sniper and her husband fighting on the frontline have rescued dozens of pets after discovering them abandoned on the battlefield.
Oksana Krasnova, 27, uses her wages to pay for food and supplies to nurse the animals back to health before arranging for them to be transported on military vehicles to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to be rehomed.
Oksana had previously worked as a lawyer in the capital until Russia invaded the country six months ago and she joined the Ukrainian frontline defence, fighting in the Donetsk region.
In between working as snipers, Oksana and her husband Stanislav Krasnov, 35, have rescued almost 30 pets they have discovered when passing through abandoned villages.
Speaking to the PA news agency from the frontline, Oksana said: “I love animals a lot and I used to help rescue animals with my husband even before the Russian invasion.
“I come across a lot of abandoned pets when I am going about my duties and I can’t just leave them.
“It’s hard to evacuate animals from the frontline but these poor pets have been used to living with humans so they can’t survive on their own.
Oksana said her most memorable rescue to date was the first abandoned animal she saved on the frontline.
The couple had heard “some strange sounds” while walking through an abandoned house and found a small, black dog trapped in the building.
Oksana said the animal was “clearly traumatised” and had been surviving off raw potatoes when they discovered her.
“I think she had been there for about a month – it was awful,” she said.
“She was just lying on the floor and we placed a pillow under her head while she was barking and crying and foaming at the mouth.
“We had to push her into a box and transport her in our military vehicle.
“We have a friend who has some volunteers out in Kyiv who work with traumatised animals and he took in the poor dog,” she said.
“Months on, she’s now okay and she lives with a foster family.”
Oksana said she mainly rescues dogs and cats but has occasionally helped smaller creatures like birds and rabbits, which she tends to release into the wild once healthy.
“At the moment where we are based we have a herd of pigs with us from one of the nearby villages,” Oksana said.
“Obviously we can’t rescue them as they won’t all fit in our military vehicles but we are making sure they are okay and have enough food.”
“The animals we rescue are really very grateful and loyal,” Oksana said.
“Sometimes it’s really hard (to say goodbye to them) mainly because I spend so much time treating them.
“But I feel relieved because I know that they won’t starve and suffer again,” she added.
How you can help animals in need:
Support ‘Protect All Wildlife’ by donating as little as £1 – It only takes a minute but it can last a lifetime for an animal in need.
We believe EVERY animal should be treated with respect, empathy, and understanding. We raise awareness to protect and conserve wild, captive, companion and farm animals. It is vital that we protect animals against acts of cruelty, abuse, and neglect by enforcing established animal welfare laws and, when necessary, take action to ensure that those who abuse animals are brought to justice.
Protect All Wildlife are involved in many projects to protect animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats. Money contributed to Protect All Wildlife supports ALL of our worthy programmes and gives us the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Your donations make our work possible. Thank you for your support.
Everyone who donates will receive a Certificate of Appreciation as a thank you for supporting wildlife.