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Russia deploys trained dolphins at Black Sea naval base

The Russian Navy is using trained dolphins to protect important bases from special forces divers, according to Naval News.

These marine mammals are already stationed at the entrance to Sevastopol harbour in Crimea. According to news reports, the Russian Navy has deployed dolphins at another base in the northern part of Crimea.

The deployment of troops is probably aimed at defence against Ukrainian special forces who pose a threat in the area.

In August, dolphin pens appeared at the Southern Naval Base in Novoozerne. The base is 90 kilometres (56 miles) northwest of Sevastopol. The pens were installed in September this year. This coincides with a period when Ukrainian special forces stepped up their activities in the northern Black Sea. This included the seizure of offshore gas platforms and raids on military installations along the coast.

The location is to the west of the main berths, off the oyster farm pier. However, the pens do not resemble an oyster farm, but are similar in size and shape to those used by the Russian Navy for dolphins. Moreover, this facility is separate from the Stepnaya Gavan civilian marine mammal show, located about 5 km (3 miles) away.

Trained dolphins are used against military divers. No human can swim over a dolphin. Moreover, the inbuilt sonar gives them an even greater advantage.  Most likely, dolphins are used to protect ships from limpet mine divers or reconnaissance divers. Once they detect an intruder, they can tag it for their human counterparts to reconnoiter, and possibly deliver a lethal blow. Perhaps the dolphins are patrolling the coast where Ukrainian special forces are conducting raids on coastal targets.

During the Soviet era, there was a submarine base on that site. Now the base is under Russian control. Now when Ukrainian special forces have launched raids along Crimea’s northern coast, the base has become relevant again.

The base is currently used by missile corvettes, landing ships and some support vessels, including a submarine support ship. Some of them may take shelter there from the missile and drone threat from Sevastopol. Others may be sent there to directly counter the increased Ukrainian threat.


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