The Russian Navy is ramping up the number of trained dolphins it uses to protect its main military base in the Black Sea, according to intelligence reports.
The animals are guarding the entrance to the port of Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea and are likely intended to ‘thwart enemy divers’, according to British military intelligence She said Friday.
In recent weeks, “images show a nearly doubling of the floating mammal enclosures in the harbor most likely containing bottlenose dolphins,” the report said.
Trained animals were used for decades by military or intelligence agencies for carrying out specific missions. For example, a beluga whale that has made several appearances off the Scandinavian coast in recent years believed be a trained spy from the russian army.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been targeted by numerous drone strikes since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.
In April, there were Russian ships stationed in Sevastopol hit by an attack carried out with “three unmanned speedboats” and a fuel depot in the same city was hit by a drone strike a few days later – prompting Moscow to to announce a tightening of security measures at the naval base in Sevastopol last month.
Ukraine was accused by Russia of being responsible for these attacks, but it did avoided taking responsibility for them.
Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.