Russia seems to have assigned dolphins to its defense at sea, according to an analysis by the US Naval Institute.
According to satellite image analysis by Maxar and Naval Institute of the United States, Moscow placed trained dolphins at the entrance to an important port on the Black Sea, possibly to protect a naval base from possible Ukrainian incursions.
According to an analysis of satellite images by a military analyst, H. I. Sutton for the Naval Institute, two portable “stables” with dolphins were transported to the port of Sevastopol in February, around the time Russia invaded Ukraine.
Sutton speculated that the dolphins could be tasked with preventing Ukrainian divers from entering the port and sabotaging boats there, as the port is just outside the reach of Ukrainian missiles.
According to the Moscow Times during the Soviet era, Russia used the Sevastopol base to train dolphins to detect mines and place explosives on ships.
Sutton told NBC News that Russia had used the same method again in Syria’s Tartus in 2018 to prevent rival states’ submarine operations.
After the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia resumed training dolphins. In fact, a whale found in 2019 in Norway wearing a camera leash and the inscription “St. Petersburg equipment” reveals the expansion of the Russian program.