We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Satellite images show Russia deploying trained dolphins to protect Black Sea naval base

The US Naval Institute said the dolphins may be tasked with counter-diver operations to prevent Ukrainian forces infiltrating the harbour.

THE US NAVAL Institute (USNI) has said new analysis of satellite images shows Russia has deployed trained military dolphins at its naval base in the Black Sea.  

The images show that two dolphin pens were moved to the entrance to Sevastopol harbour in February, around the time of the invasion of Ukraine. 

USNI said the dolphins may be tasked with counter-diver operations, which is a that role both the US and Russia have trained marine mammals for. It said this could prevent Ukrainian special operations forces from infiltrating the harbour underwater to sabotage warships.

The US navy has trained sea lions and dolphins since 1959 while, during the Cold War, the Soviet Navy also trained dolphins.

Dolphins possess sophisticated sonar which helps them detect mines on the ocean floor. They can dive incredibly deeply and, like sea lions, have low light vision and underwater directional hearing .

Dolphins are usually trained to detect and mark dangerous object underwater and alert naval officers to unauthorised swimmers or divers. 

During the Cold War the Soviet Navy’s dolphin unit in the Black Sea was based at Kazachya Bukhta near Sevastopol.

This unit transitioned to the Ukrainian military after the collapse of the Soviety Union in 1991, but came under Russian control after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel