Russian forces have deployed trained dolphins to protect ships anchored at the Sevastopol naval base in Crimea, which Russia annexed to its territory in 2014.
Satellite images of Maxar Technologies and obtained by the American newspaper ‘The Washington Post’ reveal that two dolphin pens were placed at the entrance to the port of Sevastopol in Februarycoinciding with the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 24.
According to the submarine analyst HI Sutton, quoted by the ‘Post’ and who reported the deployment of the dolphins to the United States Naval Institute (USNI), the dolphins could be used to repel Ukrainian divers who might try to enter the port to sabotage Russian warships. A Maxar Technologies spokesman agreed with Sutton’s analysis.
The USNI explained that the Russian fleet in the area is potentially vulnerable to submarine attacks. The dolphins are trained to perform diving tasks to prevent Ukrainian special operations forces from infiltrating underwater.
A few days ago, the flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, the Moskva, sank and Ukraine claimed that the sinking was caused by two Ukrainian missiles.
It is believed that the Russian Navy is also using beluga whales to carry out this type of operation.
The training of marine mammals for military purposes is not a technique exclusive to Russia
For years, the Russians have used seals and beluga whales to protect their fleet in the Arctic, as they have thick layers of fat to keep them warm, which protects them from the cold.
The US Navy has also trained dolphins and sea lions to protect its ships from underwater threats.
According to international media, the country has spent more than 26 million dollars to maintain its army of marine mammals to help in armed conflicts.
Dolphins have sophisticated sonar, making it easier for them to detect mines and other potentially dangerous objects on the ocean floor that are difficult to detect with electronic sonar.
*With information from El Universal (GDA – Mexico)
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