Ukrainian citizens flee or shelter with their cats (many pictures)

We must not forget the animals in this unnecessary war caused by the blatant and wanton invasion of a democratic country by that madman Putin. He is determined to turn the clock back to the old USSR. And he knows that he had to take Ukraine before they joined NATO. If a NATO country is invaded the other members of NATO are obliged under the treaty to protect that country.

Ukraine has aspirations to join NATO and I guess to join the EU. Putin had an opportunity to annex Ukraine before they joined NATO and he took it. But Putin’s invasion is not going according to plan. It is reported that some Russian troops don’t want to shoot at fellow Russians living in Ukraine. It seems that morale is low among the Russian soldiers and they are low in fuel and food.

An estimated 5m citizens of Ukraine are fleeing their country with their pets if they have one and have not abandoned them. Or they are going to shelters such as an underground basement car park to protect themselves and their companion animals from the bombs. The pictures on this page illustrate the desire to protect their companion animals under very difficult circumstances.

You can imagine what it is like for these animals, particularly cats; thrust into an entirely alien situation with noise and strangers. I can envisage cats becoming very panicky.

Here are two more added one day later:

And in another update, here is another photo posted on entitled: Our lady was pretty calm while hiding in bomb shelter in Kyiv last night.

Ginger cat in underground shelter in Ukraine during Putin's invasion
Ginger cat in underground shelter in Ukraine during Putin’s invasion. Image:

And here is a tabby cat looking worried as she hides with their owner in a Kharkiv subway. Kharkiv is a city in northeast Ukraine.

Cat hiding with their owner in a Kharkiv subway
Cat hiding with their owner in a Kharkiv subway. Photo:

One owner said this:

“Ukraine, Kyiv, 3:10am: We sit underground and wait until the morning comes, then we can go home. I can’t sleep, my cat Isza is afraid and trembling”. Here is her photograph:

Cat in bunker sheltering from the shelling above in Ukraine during Putin's invasion
Cat in bunker sheltering from the shelling above in Ukraine during Putin’s invasion. Photo: Reddit.

And here is Violeta (7) and her large, grey cat Richard. They evacuated from Odessa in the south of Ukraine and made their way to Poland. At least she had a good lead for Richard. Some don’t and neither do they have carriers.

Violeta and Richard
Violeta and Richard. She’s 7 and she travelled from Odessa with Richard to Poland. It took 4 days. Photo: Twitter.

In one photograph there is a man with his cat out of a carrier. He’s in a shelter. We don’t know what happened after the photograph was taken. How did this cat cope under the circumstances? Did he have a cat carrier? It is all so very difficult and upsetting.

Below is a photo of a guy hand carrying two pet cats across a street in Ukraine. How is this going to work without a carrier? It looks impossible and almost certain to lead to the loss of these cats. His name is Abdullah Elkobbi, 21, from Morocco, and he is studying medicine at a university in Ukraine. He said that he loves the country and is very sad. His cats are called Stella and Santa.

I have read that the countries adjacent to Ukraine which are taking in refugees are also waiving the pet passport scheme. Refugees can bring pets in without the usual paperwork. The UK has not agreed to this yet as I understand it. Germany is stopping refugees entering if they have a pet without paperwork. This seems entirely wrong.

Moroccan medical student in Ukraine flees with his two cats without a carrier
Moroccan medical student in Ukraine flees with his two cats without a carrier. Photo: Reuters

There will also be millions of Ukrainians travelling west and then onto Poland to escape the country. Some are escaping the country through other borders north and south as I understand it. It appears that the country is divided into two sorts of people: those who want to stay and fight as a resistance group or those who want to get out.

RELATED: Stray animals boost morale on Ukraine’s front lines as Russian troops invade.

Provided the citizens who want to resist can organise themselves and are sufficiently well funded and supplied with military equipment, there is a good chance that they can wear down the Russian troops once they have taken occupation which is highly likely within the next few days. There are precedents to this. The most recent of which is the evacuation of American and British troops from Afghanistan after the Taliban persisted in resisting and wore down the might of America who piled in about $2 trillion into that benighted desert of a country. Resistance forces can wear down very well equipped and funded military occupations. I hope and expect this to happen with respect to Ukraine.

Stray cats and dogs have boosted the morale of Ukrainian troops in the trenches at the front line. I think the video below was made on the front line to the north of the country adjacent to the buildup of Russian forces over the border. Of course, that moment has now passed but we can see how the relationship between domestic dogs and cats and Ukrainian soldiers was and remains beneficial to both.

RELATED: Picture: elderly woman, Lidiia lives with her cat, Matilda, near the fighting in Eastern Ukraine

I admire the Ukrainians who take their companion animals with them under dire conditions. It must be hard and very stressful. It is life and death. The Ukrainians will beat this psychopathic madman at the end of the day but it will be a traumatic journey.

I have taken a big liberty in publishing these photographs on this page. I would hope that the photographers allow me to do it. I would plead fair use under the current extreme circumstances. However, if the agency or the photographer objects then please contact me (you will see my contact details above in the menu bar). I will respond promptly I assure you.

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