Among the many harrowing stories emerging from the war in Ukraine, there are tiny pockets of love and joy.
The heartwarming story of a Siberian husky named Yukki, who is set to be reunited with his owners after being separated during an attack near their home in Bucha, where innocent civilians were massacred by Russian forces, has gone viral on social media.
When the shelling began, his owner Marina, a mother of three, fled with her children, but their dog Yukki, startled by the noise, bolted.
Yukki was scared away from the house during another attack and wandered the streets until he was found by Ukrainian serviceman Andriy Smirnov, who shared his story on social media.
According to Newsweek, on April 10, Smirnov posted photos of a Siberian Husky dog on Facebook, asking for help in locating its owners.
‘Bucha, such a little one running around the house,’ he wrote. We’ll look for the owners if there aren’t any.’
The post was liked 1,500 times and received over 6,000 shares.
Marina exclaimed, ‘This is our Yukki!!’ when she saw Andriy’s message.
‘When the shelling started, our beloved pet dog Yukki got spooked and ran away,’ Marina told the publication. We looked for him but couldn’t find him.’
For their own safety, the pup’s family had to leave the city without him, but they have missed Yukki every day and are heartbroken over his disappearance.
Marina described how she kept in touch with her neighbour, who informed her that Yukki had returned home, but that the house had burned down after being hit by a rocket.
Yukki was taken in by a neighbor, but when shelling in Bucha resumed, the dog bolted.
‘Then a miracle occurred,’ Marina explained. ‘A soldier found Andriy Smirnov discovered him.’
Yukki is still with Andriy, who is caring for him until Marina is able to safely collect him and return him to his family.
The soldier’s bravery and kindness were lauded by Facebook commenters.
‘You are a super nice person,’ one person wrote.
‘Thank you for helping this sweet lost baby, and thank you for your bravery and courage!’ said another.
‘We will pray for Andriy every day for saving our dog’s life,’ Marina said. For the rest of his life, he will be a hero to us.’
This week, the city, which is located in Ukraine’s Kyiv Oblast, has been in the spotlight after city officials identified more than 160 residents who were allegedly killed by Russian forces.
‘Every day, we find more and more bodies of the dead in different parts of our city – in vegetable gardens, park areas, and playgrounds,’ said Anatoliy Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha.