This is the touching moment a Ukrainian border guard is reunited with his wife, his daughter and his dog after being given leave from the southern front.
Mykola was allowed home for the weekend to see his wife Olga, his daughter Maria and his service dog Alma after combat missions on Ukraine’s front lines near Zaporizhzhia.
The heartwarming footage shows Mykola surprising his daughter Maria at school. She can be heard shouting out her joy before running and embracing her father, planting a kiss on him.
The happy dad can be seen chuckling and smiling and hugging his daughter.
The footage then shows the soldier greeting his wife with a bunch of flowers as they kiss tenderly.
The soldier then gets to see his dog Alma, who appears to be delighted to see him too, jumping up and down and wagging her tail.
The images were obtained from the Ministry of internal affairs of Ukraine on Thursday, 13th October, along with a statement saying: “The canine border guard returned home, where his wife, daughter and service dog were waiting for him.
“Dog breeder Mykola returned to Odesa after the rotation. He performed combat missions in the Zaporizhzhia area.
“With his unexpected appearance, the border guard surprised his wife Olga, who with his service dog ‘Alma’ was waiting for her daughter Maria after school.
“The father also quite surprised his daughter by visiting the educational institution. Now, after the weekend, he will return to guarding the southern border.”
The images were also relayed by the State Border Service of Ukraine along with a statement saying: “Finally, they waited for their defender. Wife, daughter and even his service dog were happy to meet the border guard dog handler who had just arrived from the rotation. The family will have a few warm days to spend together, after which Mykola will return to guarding the southern border.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 232nd day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 13th October, Russia had lost about 63,800 personnel, 2,511 tanks, 5,167 armoured combat vehicles, 1,556 artillery units, 357 multiple launch rocket systems, 183 air defence systems, 268 warplanes, 240 helicopters, 1,182 drones, 316 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 3,935 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 140 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
The General Assembly of the United Nations has overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, with 35 countries abstaining, including Pakistan, South Africa, India and China.
The resolution “condemns the organisation by the Russian Federation of so-called referendums within the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine” and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “attempted illegal annexation”, which he announced last month.
The Ukrainian military has announced that it has recaptured more territory near the southern city of Kherson. It is understood that five settlements in the Beryslav district of the north-eastern part of the Kherson region have been recaptured. They have been named as Novovasylivka, Novogrygorivka, Nova Kamyanka, Tryfonivka, and Chervone.
NATO allies have delivered new air defence systems to Ukraine after Russia launched a wave of missile attacks across the country, targeting civilian areas.
The Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksiy Reznikov, said: “A new era of air defence has begun in Ukraine.”
He added: “Iris-Ts from Germany are already here. Nasams [from the US] are coming. This is only the beginning. And we need more.”
The United Kingdom has also said that it will provide AMRAAM air defence missiles that are capable of shooting down cruise missiles.
The European Commission is set to present plans next week geared towards mitigating rising energy costs.
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said that there are plans to set up joint gas purchases by 2023 to harness the bloc’s collective purchasing power and to “avoid member states outbidding each other on the market”, which “drives up” prices.
Putin has claimed that Russia is prepared to resume supplying gas to Europe via part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that remains operational, saying that it was up to the European Union to decide if it wanted gas supplied by this pipeline.