Forbes Journalist Claims Russia Used Dolphins in the War in Syria

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(— July 22, 2020) —  The Russian navy used marine mammals in its naval operations, which was not a new thing, but these days there is evidence that it also used them in war-torn Syria, Forbs Journalist claims.

Russian naval projects, which included mammals, attracted worldwide attention when a Russian Beluga whale appeared in April 2019 in Norway.

It is believed that the whale, named Hvaldimir, allegedly escaped from the Russian training center, Forbes reported, adding that there was another participation of marine mammals in military actions, which, probably, most of them have not heard of, yet.

Allegedly, new evidence has now emerged that the Russian navy sent trained dolphins to Syria, at the end of 2018, to a military base in Tartus.

A Forbes journalist says that he was passing by a fenced area with mammals when he saw satellite images of Tartus, a port where Russia keeps its submarines, intended for use in the war in Syria.

Having seen similar Russian bases in the Black Sea and the Arctic, it was, allegedly, immediately clear to him what it was all about.

He said that satellite images of this place can be seen on Google Earth, at coordinates 34 ° 54’35.16 “N, 35 ° 51’46.46” E, so that everyone can check for themselves.

It is most likely that the dolphins were used against enemy divers, whose task is to sabotage ships in the port. Marine mammals can also be used to bring lost objects from the seabed or for intelligence missions, writes Forbes.

The dolphins spotted in Syria most likely originate from a base, not far from Sevastopol in the Crimea, in the Black Sea. That base is located, according to a Forbes journalist, at coordinates 44 ° 34’53.12 “N, 33 ° 24’8.36” E. Although, as he adds, there is a possibility that it is not about dolphins, but instead about seals, although he thinks that it is more probable that they are dolphins. It turned out that the pools in which marine mammals were held are smaller than usual, but, perhaps, as Forbes concludes, it speaks more about their temporary purpose.

Another active program of the Russian Navy in which it uses mammals is in the Arctic. Beluga whales and seals were trained there. Whale Hvaldimir appeared in Norway, around the same time that the Russian Navy moved some whale pools to the Olena Guba submarine base (69 ° 13’12.41 “N, 33 ° 23’4.72” E). According to Forbes, Russian spy submarines are stationed there, including Losharik, a nuclear submarine that had an accident in July of last year in which 14 people died.

Beluga whales are larger and slower than dolphins, but, as it turned out, they adapt better to Arctic water conditions.

Forbes states that the world public may never know what exactly the Russian navy did with the dolphins in Syria. They were there for only a few months, from September to December 2018, so it could have only been a test. Or the operation perhaps didn’t end well.

But there are no signs that programs for the use of marine mammals for military purposes have been slowed down. And the incident with Hwaldimir in Norway happened after the action in Syria, which signals that whatever happened in Syria did not discourage the Russian navy from using marine mammals in its naval operations.