According to satellite imagery analysis, Russia has deployed trained military dolphins to guard its Black Sea naval facility against underwater attacks during Ukraine’s invasion.
The US Naval Institute reviewed photos from the Sevastopol harbour and concluded that two dolphin enclosures were relocated to the facility in February, at the start of the military onslaught.
According to the report, the military mammals may have been entrusted with counter-diver operations to prevent Ukrainian special-ops soldiers from accessing the harbour underwater to damage vessels.
The Soviet navy created many marine mammal programs during the Cold War, including dolphin training in the Black Sea, where a unit was established at Kazachya Bukhta near Sevastopol.
According to H.I. Sutton, a specialist on underwater systems who initially reported on the dolphins in Sevastopol, marine creatures including dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions, and seals are trained to discover enemy divers and detect explosives.
He claims that, in addition to Russia, the United States, Israel, and North Korea utilize such animals in military operations.
According to sources, Russia utilizes beluga whales and seals in the Arctic, both of which have thick layers of fat to keep warm and are more protected against the cold than bottlenose dolphins employed in the Black Sea. According to the BBC, on April 23, 2019, a trained beluga whale dubbed “Hvaldimir” was discovered in northern Norway; however, it is thought to have escaped from the Russian Navy program.
According to reports, dolphins from the Black Sea Fleet were sent to Russia’s Mediterranean Sea station in Tartus, Syria, in 2018.
The pens utilized for the deployment were similar to those observed in the Sevastopol harbour. However, it is unclear if Ukraine has planned any underwater operations against Sevastopol.