Shocking new video and photos out of Russia show special force commandos jumping out of airplanes while strapped to dogs (watch above).

The canines and their human handlers plummet 13,000 feet before a parachute guides their touchdown. “After landing, all four-legged test participants felt well and were ready to follow commands,” claimed a Russian defense ministry report.

One Russian parachutist, Andrey Toporkov, said the dogs made eight test runs. “They tolerate the flight and even watch the clouds through the window. When the hatch opens, there is wind, noise, and thanks to the dog handler, they calm down,” Toporkov said.

Toporkov added, “And you can’t be afraid of yourself — dogs feel everything.”

The dogs are bound to their handlers by a special tandem harness. Russian President Vladimir Putin toured the facility where the harnesses are made last year.

There is something instinctively horrifying about throwing a dog out of an airplane – but other governments use skydiving canines.

In South Africa, dogs and soldiers are parachuted from helicopters to hunt down poachers. National Geographic provides more context:

Parachuting, rather than rappelling—which requires a helicopter to be stationary and low to the ground—would make these operations more covert. “In some cases we have to insert the canine in a difficult situation where you don’t want to scare the poachers with the helicopter,” explains Eric Ichikowitz, director of the Johannesburg-based Ichikowitz Family Foundation, which helped launch the training program. “The parachute helps engage them quietly.”