Norwegian fishermen and scientists say a white whale with a strange harness harassing boats in the Arctic was recently trained by the Russian military. Russia has recognized the training of marine mammals for special operations in the cold Arctic, where the country has a large military base near.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Norwegian NRK reported on the unusual behavior of the whale last week and showed a video of the Beluga whale swimming next to a fishing vessel.
"We wanted to clear nets when we saw a whale swimming between the boats," quoted NRK the fisherman Joar Hesten. "It came over to us and as it got closer, we saw it had some sort of harness."
No scientific project
The harness was removed from the animal by a team of the Norwegian Fisheries Director. Jørgen Ree Wiig from the agency sent CBS News pictures and videos of whale and crockery bearing a logo inscribed "St. Petersburg equipment". The canvas straps looked a bit worn and visible rust was visible on the metal screws holding the machine together.
"If this whale comes from Russia ̵
"We know that there were domestic whales in captivity in Russia and that some of them seem to have been released," said Audun Rikardsen, professor of marine biology at the Arctic University of Norway, to The Guardian over NRK. "Then they often look for boats."
But Rikardsen said he had talked to Russian scientists, and they denied any knowledge of the caged whale: "They tell me that most likely the Russian Navy is in Murmansk."
Whales as Weapons
Russia's military has in the past been trying to arm whales and other marine mammals.
The Guardian said the Cold War Soviet Union had a program to train dolphins to discover underwater weapons and to alert their military trainers. This program ran until the 1990s.
Then, Russian television station Zvezda, which is owned by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, in 2017 sent a report on a Russian naval program to train beluga whales, seals and dolphins for similar purposes.  norway-fisheries-whale.jpg "height =" 413 "width =" 620 "class =" lazyload "srcset =" https://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2019/04/29 / 7713cd6e -42a7-4272-ae12-05407a11b223 / thumbnail / 620×413 / 6c13a933b853294b75e90127d2d037cb / norway-fisheries-whale.jpg 1x, https://cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/201/04/29/77/ 4/9/77/4/9/77/4272-ae12-05407a11b223 / thumbnail / 1240×826 / a52eaffc8b5e35c4437c39b7fddca53d / norway-fisheries-whale.jpg 2x "srcset =" Data: image / svg + xml,% 3Csvg% 20xmlns% 3Dxtns % d3% xxmlns%% 2F2000% 2Fsvg% 20viewBox% 3D # 0% 200% 20620% 20413% 2F% 3E "/>
Jørgen Ree Wiig / Norwegian Fisheries Director
The Guardian said these recent efforts were carried out by a private research institute commissioned by the Navy to see if Beluga whales in the Arctic could guard "access to naval bases" and support "deep-sea divers" and possibly kill strangers Russian government reports that the Ministry of Defense spent around $ 25,000 to buy five bottle-shaped dolphins from a Sealife center in Moscow in 2016.
Russia and NATO in the Arctic
For the past three years, President Vladimir Putin has received three reopened former Soviet military bases on the far Arctic coast, while Russia and NATO are fighting each other, along their common border in the far north of Europe
As the chief of national security of CBS Newsreported that Russia has simulated Atta du Raced near Norwegian territory with nuclear warplanes.
That's what Norwegian leader Lt. General Rune Jakobsen is not something you should do to your neighbor.
In response to Russia's growing readiness to war in the region – and as a result of Putin's unilateral rapprochementfrom Ukraine – NATO hosted its biggest war games in Norway last fall.
As Martin reported, Norway shares a 120-mile border with Russia, and its long Arctic coast includes the points on European soil closest to the base of the Russian Northern Fleet, with its naval bases and airfields, and nuclear-weapon camps based on the remote Kola Peninsula, represents the largest concentration of military power in Russia, particularly submarines.
Martin received rare access to Norwegian military aircraft and vessels tasked with monitoring Russia's Arctic operations, including the newest navy surveillance vessel, featuring the latest US Technology is equipped to detect submarines.
If Norwegian fishermen find evidence of a current Russian military program, the Norwegians and their NATO counterparts may need to look for smaller weapons including war – finned weapons.