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28th Apr 2022

Russia are using ‘militarised dolphins to guard Black Sea naval base’ from Ukraine

Kieran Galpin

00-Dolphin is on the scene

New satellite imaging has shown that Russia has employed their “spy dolphins” to secure a naval base in the Black Sea.

Images released by the US Naval Institute suggest that dolphin pens were moved to Sevastopol’s port when Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.

While the idea of trained dolphins seems a little Pixar at first, their intelligence and adaptability are widely regarded in the scientific community. With the most accurate sonar known to science, they are an invaluable asset in defending ocean areas.


Dolphins were posted at Sevastopol during the Cold War, and Ukraine took the unit after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. According to the Telegraph, the US navy also attempted to train dolphins during the Cold War, spending a staggering $28 million.

While the dolphins ceased activity in Ukraine, the project was revitalised in 2014 following the illegal annexing of Crimea, where Russia claimed the dolphins “defected” back to the motherland.

“Our specialists developed new devices that convert dolphins’ underwater sonar detection of targets into a signal to the operator’s monitor,” a source told Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “The Ukrainian navy lacked funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be mothballed.”

While the idea of spy dolphins is relatively scary, given that the creatures could easily drown you, dealing with the aquatic mammals is far from easy. For instance, during a training exercise in 2013, Russians found that their soldiers abandoned the exercise in search of a mate.

An army source told MailOnline: “They deserted a naval exercise and went on manoeuvres of an amorous kind. They swam away to look for mates.”

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