Russian forces defending naval base from Ukraine using ‘militarised dolphins'

UN chief Antonio Guterres 'shocked' as two Russian rockets hit Kyiv during ...
BBC News

It sounds like something from a daft spy thriller, but new reports have claimed that Russian forces are defending a naval base from Ukraine using ‘militarised dolphins'.

New satellite images have shown that “spy dolphins” have been used by Russia to protect Sevastopol’s port since forces invaded the country in February.

It’s not quite as out there as it might initially seem, either.

Dolphins are known for their intelligence and have the most accurate sonar of the natural world.

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It’s not the first time they’ve been utilised for defensive purposes, and evidence would now suggest they’re being used to secure a base in the Black Sea, Joe reports.

The idea of weaponising dolphins first materialised during the Cold War. Ukraine moved the unit of dolphins to Sevastopol following the fall of the Soviet Union back in 1991.

Dolphins are reportedly being used as part of naval defencesVia US Naval Institute

While they weren’t used for years, the operation was reintroduced after the illegal annexing of Crimea in 2014. Russia even claimed the dolphins "defected" back to the country.

"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."

Dolphins are being used as part of Russian defencesRaymond Roig/AFP via Getty Images

Sevastopol is the biggest city in Crimea and one of the biggest ports on the Black Sea. It’s been a key naval base for decades and it was a closed city during the Cold War.

It’s the latest unexpected development to emerge following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, which comes months after the Russian invasion began in February.

It comes after Ukraine confirmed it hopes on Friday to evacuate civilians who are holed up in Azovstal steelworks with the last fighters defending the southern city of Mariupol.

“An operation is planned today to get civilians out of the plant,” president Volodymyr Zelensky's office said.

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