Russia has relocated its military-trained dolphins closer to conflict zones in the Ukraine war, positioning them at a naval base in Novoozerne, Crimea. This move is believed to be in response to increasing Ukrainian attacks on Russian naval assets in the Black Sea, specifically to deter underwater incursions by Ukrainian special forces.
- Militarized dolphin pens were recently seen in Novoozerne, Crimea, via satellite images, indicating a move of Russia’s dolphin force from their previous location around Sevastopol.
- The placement of these dolphins could prevent Ukrainian forces from accessing the harbor underwater, as suggested by the U.S. Naval Institute.
- Ukraine has intensified its presence in the Black Sea, launching attacks using underwater drones and successfully capturing crucial gas platforms.
- Crimea, where the dolphins are now positioned, was annexed by Russia in 2014, a move not recognized internationally.
- Russia has a historical precedent of using marine animals in its military, with an increase in marine mammal pens noted in the Black Sea region in recent months.