“Military” dolphins trained by Ukraine and seized by Russian troops died after ‘going on hunger strike’, it is claimed.
The “dolphin army” was seized by Russian forces from the Crimean Military Dolphin Centre during the annexation in 2014.
The Ukranian government’s representative in Crimea, Boris Babin claims that the dolphins “refused not only to interact with the new Russian coaches, but refused food and died some time later.”
He told Obozrevatel: ““The dolphins, trained by the naval forces in Sevastopol, would communicate with their trainers through special whistles.”
Mr Babin said that when the Russian forces obtained the whistles, the animals refused to cooperate.
Ukraine had repeatedly asked for the safe return of the dolphins.
Mr Babin added: “Many Ukranian soldiers took their oath and loyalty much less seriously than these dolphins.”
Russian Duma deputy Dimitry Beli has hit back at Mr Babin’s claims that the animals did not cooperate.
He told RIA Novosti that all of the combat dolphins had been sold or died of natural causes in 2014.
“There can be no talk about any Ukrainian patriotism with regards to the combat dolphins because under Ukraine, the special forces dolphins… were involved entirely in commercial activities, not underwater operations.”
According to the Guardian, the Crimean military dolphin centre is just one of two in the world. The other dolphin military centre is in San Diego.