Amidst the turmoil of war, comfort can often be found in the most uncanny of spaces. For Ukrainians grappling with the reclinations of war, solace, and even pragmatic advice is coming from unexpected guides—furry friends, both real and cartoonized. Uniquely, these characters are softening difficult conversations and delivering salient information to the Ukrainian populace in unprecedented ways.

One of these is the enigmatic Inzhyr the cat, a creation of Olena Pavlova that serves as a conduit for advice. Pavlova posits that advice can often be better received when it’s given by a fluffy and endearing character—an insightful theory indeed, given the traction her cartooned cat has gained.

Next in line is Stepan, an already popular internet cat who, amidst the Russian invasion, evolved from being a source of everyday humor into a narrator of wartime realities. His Instagram account now deals with more than just adorable cat poses, extending to commentaries on the war.

The feline icon courageously expresses his longing for peace, acknowledging the sacrifices of many on the front lines. In the face of missiles, death, and chaos, Stepan’s authenticity strikes a chord with his 1.3 million Instagram followers and beyond. Beyond being a comforting figure, Stepan’s account initiated a successful fund drive helping animals affected by the war.

As Ukraine reels from destruction, like the collapsing of Kakhovka Dam, Stepan rallied support to evacuate animals from flood-stricken regions. Beyond empathy, it’s an inspiring testament of action—showing how everyone, including cats, can play a role in remedying the current situation.

Meanwhile, in another part of Ukraine, Patron, a Jack Russell terrier, sniffs out mines, making headlines and gracing postal stamps countrywide. The canine is highly appreciated for his invaluable service, meeting dignitaries like UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Canada’s Justin Trudeau. Patron’s endearing charisma and unparalleled mine-clearance skills have earned him international acclaim, laying testament to the tenacity of Ukraine’s pet population.

Patron extends his influence on his Instagram account too, through engaging photos and posts. He educates about the hazards of unexploded munitions and offers advice on managing war-induced stress. His profile purposes more than spinning fun tales about a Jack Russell terrier – it stands as a beacon of hope and resilience amidst the war’s travails.

It’s no wonder, then, that Patron stars in an educational cartoon series meant to educate children about unexploded ordnance—a frontline truth told through the lens of their fluffy friend.

Another crucial aspect of these adored pet personas is their role in promoting nation-wide unity. For instance, Stepan’s Instagram account, which was originally predominantly in Russian, now features posts in Ukrainian, following a similar switch made by many Ukrainians as their way of consolidating national identity after the invasion.

These internet famous animals contribute significantly to both the emotional and physical wellbeing of their country. Beyond the cute and cuddly, their real-life counterparts—like Patron—and their animated versions—like Inzhyr—tackle real-world issues, from understanding complex emotions to handling dangerous explosive devices left by war.

They have also made palpable contributions financially. From aiding the repair of shelled libraries, aiding the evacuation of animals from flooded areas, to securing crucial equipment for Ukraine’s emergency services—their impact is multi-fold and undeniable.

These iconic animals embody the spirit of Ukraine’s resilience. As Patron’s handler, Mykhaylo Ilyev, succinctly notes, sometimes, all they really have in the face of adversity is hope—an emotion which these animal celebrities incite in abundance with each post, each fundraiser, each appearance. They’re a testament to the enduring spirit of Ukraine, even in times of unparalleled challenge.

Indeed, in this landscape of uncertainty, these Instagram celebrities illustrate a unique blend of emotional support and advice, proving that sometimes, wisdom does come with whiskers and waggy tails.