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Vladimir Putin Doubles Number of Russian Combat Dolphins in Response to Increased Naval Threats from Ukraine

Putin Doubles Number of Combat Dolphins After Ukraine Naval Threats
Source: Mega

Jun. 16 2023, Published 3:00 p.m. ET

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Vladimir Putin reportedly ordered his Russian Navy to double the number of dolphins trained to defend the country’s Sevastopol naval base in Crimea, RadarOnline.com has learned.

The sudden move was reportedly thought to be a response to a recent increase in threats posed by Ukrainian special forces divers.

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Putin Doubles Number of Combat Dolphins After Ukraine Naval Threats
Source: Mega

Several countries, including the United States and Sweden, have allegedly trained dolphins for military missions underwater – such as detecting mines and lost equipment and acting as "guard dogs” – for the Navy since the 1960s.

The idea was reportedly picked up by the Soviet Union shortly thereafter, according to Daily Star, and led to the creation of the current Russian combat dolphin program.

Putin Doubles Number of Combat Dolphins After Ukraine Naval Threats
Source: Mega

Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the program was reportedly handed over to Ukraine before the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The dolphins were then returned to Russia, although Putin claimed at the time that the marine mammals voluntarily “defected” to Moscow.

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Since 2016, the Russian navy is known to have acquired additional bottlenose dolphins, and the number of dolphin pens at Sevastopol has increased from four to seven in recent months, according to Naval News.

Meanwhile, Putin has also reportedly ordered the Russian Navy to “increase defenses in other bases and ports around Crimea.”

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Putin Doubles Number of Combat Dolphins After Ukraine Naval Threats
Source: Mega

Similar defensive measures have reportedly been put in place at key Russian submarine bases across the world, including in the Arctic, as a result of Putin’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

As RadarOnline.com reported last year, Russia deployed a special unit of military-trained dolphins to patrol and protect a vital Black Sea naval base from potential underwater attacks from enemy Ukrainian forces in April 2022.

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Putin Doubles Number of Combat Dolphins After Ukraine Naval Threats
Source: Mega

The United States Naval Institute announced at the time that they obtained satellite images of the Russian naval base that contained at least two dolphin pens, suggesting that Putin’s forces were utilizing trained dolphins to further assist their ongoing “special military operation” against Ukraine.

The US Naval Institute also concluded that the Russian combat dolphins were transported to the Crimean base sometime in late February 2022, which coincided with the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 of that year.

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