Why is Russia using sea animals as a naval defense in the war against Ukraine 2022-04-29 12:37:31


LONDON – After reviewing satellite images of a major port in Crimea, the US Naval Institute has assessed it in Moscow. Published trained dolphins To protect a naval base in the Black Sea from possible Ukrainian attacks. Submarine analyst Hay Sutton said two of the transportable dolphin pens were transferred to the port of Sevastopol in February, the same month that Russia invaded Ukraine. Mammals According to the analystThey can be used to prevent enemy divers from infiltrating port and sabotaging Russian warships.

Satellite image showing Dolphin pens positioned at the entrance to Sevastopol Bay, Crimea, April 29, 2022. (Satellite image 2022 Maxar Technologies / Handout via Reuters)

A satellite image on Friday shows pens of dolphins that have been placed at the entrance to the Sevastopol Bay, Crimea. (Maxar Technologies satellite image 2022/Posted via Reuters)

Has Russia used marine mammals for military purposes before?

to me Moscow TimesRussia has been training marine mammals since the Soviet era. In the late 1960s, the Soviet Union used the port of Sevastopol as a base for training dolphins and whales to engage in activities such as searching for mines and planting explosives, and it is also believed that the Soviets trained sea creatures to kill underwater targets. However, this program was thought to have been neglected when the Soviet Union fell in the 1990s. In 2012, Russia denied a report that claimed it was developing a military training program for dolphins to attack enemy divers with head-mounted weapons.

Underwater trainer with Dolphin who belonged to a top secret squad of the Soviet Navy in the military port of Sevastopol.

A trainer working with Dolphin was a member of a top-secret squad of the Soviet Navy in the military port of Sevastopol. (Reuters)

Before Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the aquarium in Sevastopol – which at that time was part of Ukraine – trained dolphins to swim with children with special needs, and it was used in various therapy sessions. However, after the Kremlin-led forces captured the area, an aquarium worker told Russia’s state-owned news agency RIA Novosti The dolphins and seals were once again receiving military training. The employee reportedly said engineers were working on developing the software, which would use marine mammals to find sunken objects and enemy divers using their sonar communications systems.

Victor Baranets, a Russian reserve colonel, confirmed that Russian broadcaster In 2019: “We have military dolphins for combat roles; we’re not covering that.

A Ukrainian military personnel in a wetsuit is shown training a marine mammal in Crimea in 1992.

A member of the Ukrainian army trains a marine mammal in Crimea in 1992 (Wojtek Laski / Getty Images)

“In Sevastopol we have a center for military dolphins, trained to solve various tasks, from analyzing the seabed to protecting part of the water, killing foreign divers, attaching mines to the hulls of foreign ships.”

In 2016, Russian Ministry of Defense She bought five bottlenose dolphins. Mammals Sold for $26,000 – $5,200 each – and their role has not been revealed.

Two years later, a report by the Russian Defense Ministry-owned television station Zvezda revealed that the Navy was training beluga whales, dolphins and seals in Arctic waters, The Guardian newspaper reported. The report stated that beluga whales were dropped from the program when they began to get sick after swimming for extended periods in the freezing water, according to the report. Siberian Times.

A dolphin plays with a red ball during a training session at the Dolphinarium in Sevastopol in 2014.

A dolphin plays with the ball during a training session at the Dolphinarium in Sevastopol in 2014 (Sergei Ilnitsky/EFE/EPA/ZUMA Press)

But it seems that the Beluga was not shot down by the Russian Navy when the Beluga was in 2019 Found off the coast of Norway. Fishermen spotted the whale, who was wearing a belt with a GoPro pouch emblazoned with the words “St Petersburg Equipment,” after it began harassing their boats. Navy experts believe that the strange behavior of the beluga was due to its possible military training.

“If this whale came from Russia, and there was good reason to believe it, it would not have been the Russian scientists who did it, but the Navy,” said Martin Beau, of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. He told the Guardian newspaper.

But Baranets dropped Beluga’s link to Russia, saying at the time: “If we were using this animal to spy, do you really think we’d attach a mobile number to the message ‘Please call this number’?”

Have other countries done the same?

A bottlenose dolphin jumps out of the water in front of a soldier during his demining training near the USS Johnston Hole in the Persian Gulf in 2003.

Bottlenose dolphin jumping out of the water during demining training in the Persian Gulf in 2003. (Brien Aho / US Navy via Reuters)

There are two well-known military dolphin training facilities in the world, one in Sevastopol and one at the NIWC Pacific, or Naval Information Warfare Center, in San Diego. American Navy Dolphins and sea lions have been trained since the Vietnam War. In 1969, he launched an experimental marine project called Project Deep Ops I saw killer whales and a pilot whale being trained to recover lost objects in the ocean that machines and divers could not reach. Animals such as sea lions and bottlenose dolphins have been used to detect mines on the sea floor.

Why do we use dolphins, sea lions and whales?

Marine mammals with cage and tool during training to search for mines and saboteurs in Crimea in 1992.

Marine mammals with a cage and tool during training to search for mines and vandals in Crimea in 1992 (Wojtek Laski / Getty Images)

There are a number of reasons for using marine mammals such as dolphins, sea lions, and whales for military purposes. Because of their sonar communications systems and ability to dive deeply, animals are more effective than any modern technology.

“It is not surprising that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin of all people thinks dolphins are a weapon of war,” Andrew Lambert, Professor of Maritime History at Kings College London, He told NBC News. “Like a lot of what we see in Ukraine, it’s the work of the Soviet Union re-enacted by the Russian government.” Of dolphins, he added, “This is their world, and they will find you underwater very, very quickly.”


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