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Norway locates a beluga spy in its waters. He wore a stamp from St. Petersburg. The Russian military recognizes that they train these animals, even to âkill enemiesâ.
Doves to send messages flying over the battle front. Horses, camels or elephants when the tanks did not exist yet. Trained dogs to track enemies and protect troops âŚ Armies have always sought the warlike usefulness of animals. The latest experiments seem to focus on the polar seas. At the beginning of last week, the crew of several fishing boats that worked near the island of Ingoya, on the Norwegian coast of La Plata, were surprised by a white beluga whale that did not stop harassing them, swimming among the boats and pulling the rigging âHe came up to us and we saw that he had a kind of harness,â fisherman Joar Hesten told national radio station NRK.
The animal was docile and seemed very used to being close to humans. A few days later, the same sailor and another diver laced to the icy water to remove the rope that surrounded the neck of the cetacean. In the contraption could be read âSt. Petersburg Teamâ. The Norwegian channel issued a video that has gone viral in which that âtieâ is seen. It included a holder to carry a mini-camera.
This âDNIâ with stamp of origin brings to the present the Russian programs developed with animals as weapons of war. âWe know they have had domestic whales in captivity and have apparently released some of them,â he explained in the same station NRK Professor of Arctic Biology at the University of the Arctic, Audun Rikardsen. This expert also speculated that âmost likely they are from the Russian Navy in Murmansk.â In this riverside city of the Barents Sea, about 400 kilometers from the place where the whale was located, moor the northern fleet of Russia.
Rikardsen questioned the matter to Russian colleagues. âOne of them refused me to do this kind of experiments. But she knows that the Navy has been hunting belugas for years and trains them, âwarned the Norwegian researcher.
The usual secrecy of the Moscow authorities was broken by Colonel Viktor Baranets on the radio station Govorit Moskva. Nor did he avoid a certain irony. âIf we were using animals for espionage, do you really think we would put a label with a phone number written with the message âplease call this numberâ?â This officer admitted that his Navy has military dolphins that âplay combat roles.â Also in Sevastopol (Crimea) they maintain a cetacean training center. They use them âto analyze the seabed, in addition to killing divers and fixing mines to the hulls of foreign ships.â The center that Colonel Baranets talks about was under Ukrainian control, but was annexed by the Russians after the occupation of Crimea in 2014. In any case, its waters are thousands of kilometers away from those of the Arctic.
The adventures of the beluga recall the training program of dolphins that the Soviets tried in the 80s. Their vision of great sharpness, their good memory and their secrecy made them perfect âaquatic soldiersâ. Especially to detect mines and make them explode. The program was canceled in the 1990s, coinciding with the decomposition of the communist system.
Control the Arctic
A report issued in 2017 by TV Zvezda, channel of the Russian Army itself, revealed that its Navy has returned to train beluga whales, seals and bottlenose dolphins for military purposes in polar areas. A decision that is related to the obsession of President Vladimir Putin for the control of the Arctic, where he has reopened three military bases throughout the areas of his jurisdiction.
The research, controlled by the Murmansk Sea Biology Research Institute, aims to advance the use of these aquatic mammals to âprotect the entrances to naval bases, assist deep-sea divers and, if necessary, kill Any stranger who enters their territory â, summarized the television program.
Cetaceans, phocidae and otarians have already been trained to transport tools for divers and detect torpedoes and mines in depths up to 120 meters. Murmanskâs military biologists concluded that dolphins and sea lions were more suitable than belugas for use in Arctic climates. However, the latter are âquite intelligent, quite social Arctic inhabitants who can be trained like a dog,â concluded Professor Rikardsen, who teaches at the University of Tromso.
320,000 primates, dogs, pigs, goats, cats and other animals are used every year by the United States Armed Forces in their trials for military purposes. Classified as âTop Secretâ, the Department of Defense spends close to 100 million euros per year on these tests.
Secret public contract
The Government of Russia came to publish a public offer for the purchase of dolphins for its Navy in 2016. The contract was withdrawn from official documents to avoid control after it transcended.
Public records of the Russian Government show that its Ministry of Defense tendered the purchase of five bottlenose dolphins in the Utrish dolphinarium (Moscow) for about 15,000 euros. The call was withdrawn as soon as it was announced.
The struggle for military hegemony for decades led Russians and Americans to compete also for dominance of the animal kingdom for military purposes. During the Cold War, the United States Navy created a program to teach dolphins and seals. These tests continue in the military dolphinaria located in San Diego (California), where these kings of the ocean are taught to locate mines and other dangerous objects from the seabed. Since 2007, the US Navy spends around 12 million euros on a program with 75 dolphins to teach them how to clean mine waters.
Knowledge of these practices has reacted to environmental defenders. âIn addition to poisoning the oceans, humans are also capable of poisoning the minds of the animals that live in them,â denounced in an article published in the British âThe Guardianâ zoologist Jules Howard.
Source: La Verdad