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Ukraine Denies 'Killer' Military Dolphins Escaped

March 12, 2013

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has described reports that three military dolphins escaped as a "fabrication" and a “gross provocation.”

The website “Sobytiye Kryma” (Events of the Crimea) and Russia's RIA-Novosti were among several websites and media outlets reporting on March 11 that three dolphins at the Sevastopol Aquarium that were part of a Ukrainian military program escaped during a training exercise in the Black Sea on February 24.

At least one of the reports suggested the dolphins were armed.

Some quoted experts saying the animals swam off in search of mates.

A number of international blogs and other outlets cited the reports, suggesting "killer Ukrainian dolphins" or "aquatic James Bonds" had been loosed.

Without confirming the existence of a military dolphin program, the press center for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the information in the media reports “does not agree with reality.”

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax,, and


Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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