Russia appropriates Ukrainian military dolphins

MICHELLE D’SOUZA
SCIENCE & TECH EDITOR

Russia has taken another step in its war in Crimea: It has taken custody of the Ukranian military dolphins. The dolphins were kept and stationed at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

The idea of military dolphins may sound a bit farfetched, but the practice of training dolphins is common in both the American and Russian militaries. Military dolphins are trained to sweep for underwater mines and rescue navy swimmers.

Some of the dolphins in the Ukrainian army are highly skilled gun users and are adept at using knives. It seems that military dolphins may serve no use, but they are crucial to open-water security, according to CNN reports.

Dolphins can detect sounds and objects unobservable to human senses, making them useful in identifying dangers that lurk in the depths of the ocean.

The program began in the 1960s when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union was disbanded, the program was continued in Ukraine. After recently invading Crimea, Russia annexed the dolphins. In addition to dolphins, both the U.S. and Ukraine also train military sea lions.

Contact the writer:
michelle.d’souza@scranton.edu

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