They are not sharks, and there are no lasers on their heads, but dolphins with knives on their backs might just do the trick. Trained to combat an enemy’s amphibious forces, the dolphin army is one of many military assets Russia received when it took Crimea from Ukraine.
According to The Telegraph the Soviet Union used these trained dolphins to attack frogmen in the water and even carry out suicide attacks on enemy ships. When the USSR broke up, the dolphins stayed in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula. They were then used in swimming therapy with disabled children.
The Ukrainian Navy restarted the program in 2012, but the government in Kyiv decided to end it in February due to scarce finances. This was toward the end of the three-month protests in Independence Square that finally ended when Russia-backed president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted.
However, after he was thrown out, Crimea sided with Russia and voted to join the Russian Federation. Now it appears the dolphins will receive more funding:
“Our experts have developed new devices, which convert the detection of objects by the dolphins’ underwater sonar to a signal on an operator’s monitor,” an employee told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency on Wednesday.
“But the Ukrainian Navy lacked the funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be shuttered.”
There is no word if the Russians will upgrade the dolphins with lasers.