On Wednesday 9th March, the Russian Armyannounced that they are looking to recruit 5 combat dolphins to join their military base in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol.The Russians are making a nod tothe Soviet era when they used dolphins for military purposes during the Cold War.
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The bidding starts at1.75 million ruble ($26,600), for two female and three male dolphins to be delivered to the training centre for sea mammals inSebastopol by August 1st, according to a document published to the Russian government's sitelastWednesday.
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Russia did not precise what they wanted the sea mammals for.But in 2014, RussianRIA Novosti state media agency confirmed that new training programmes were being established to getdolphins to serve in Russia'sarmed forces.
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In the past, dolphins were used by the Soviet Union and United States duringthe Cold War. They were trained to detect submarines, underwater mines and spot suspicious objects or individuals near harbours and ships.
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Retired Russian officer Viktor Baranets, who observed the dolphins' training for combat, said that the sea mammals were part of the broader Cold War weaponsrace between the USSR and the United States.He toldAFP :
Americans looked into this first. But when Soviet intelligence found out the tasks the US dolphins were completing in the 1960s, the defence ministry at the time decided to address this issue.
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It seems Russia are still keen to use dolphins for thisoutdated practice, as if taking a giant step back. Even at the end of 2015, Russia's Space Agencyannounced that monkeys were currently being trained for missions to Mars in 2017.The charity PETA have launched a petition to put an end to this revolting programme.