- A Russian lawmaker has floated the idea of using “large” and “aggressive” stray dogs in the military.
- The dogs could be trained to rescue wounded troops, and to sniff out hidden mines.
- His proposal came just before Kyiv’s military claimed 200,000 Russians had been killed in the war.
A Russian lawmaker has made an outlandish proposal to boost Russia’s army — using “aggressive” stray dogs as military assets.
State Duma deputy Fedot Tumusov floated the idea during a parliamentary session on Tuesday, per a report by The Moscow Times.
“We have a lot of cynologists in our country who can teach dogs all sorts of different skills,” Tumusov said. Cynology is the study of dog behavior.
He added: “Cynologists can train large and aggressive dogs and send them to the Special Military Operation zone to help rescue wounded people and take part in mine clearance.”
Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, posted a clip of the broadcast on his Twitter, saying: “In case you were wondering about the level of insanity in Russia.”
—Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) May 17, 2023
Tumusov’s proposal came just before the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed on their Facebook account on Wednesday that more than 200,000 Russian troops had been “liquidated” since the start of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine in February last year.
While Ukrainian soldiers have not trained stray animals for combat, some have turned to them for companionship, a report by AFP revealed.
A Ukrainian soldier named Mykyta told the AFP in January last year that troops adopted a stray dog, who became a valuable asset to them because she “barks and growls if the enemy is planning an attack.”
“It’s safer and calmer with her – no wonder they say that a dog is man’s best friend,” Mykyta told the AFP.
This is not the first time Russia has considered using animals for military purposes. In April 2022, the country’s military used specially trained dolphins to protect a naval base in the Black Sea, per a report by the United States Naval Institute.
The Russian government did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.