A Russian spy belukha named Hvaldimir (from the Norwegian word "hval" - "whale" and the name of the Russian president "Vladimir") was spotted off the southwestern coast of Sweden after spending more than three years off the coast of Norway. This drew the attention of The Guardian.
Local authorities believe the beluga whale is a Russian spy trained by the fleet to spy on ships. Hvaldimir swims in a collar with the inscription: "Equipment Petersburg 2019".
The south of Sweden is too warm waters for beluga whales, these whales usually live closer to the Arctic Circle. Sebastian Strand, a marine biologist at OneWhale, said scientists don't know why the whale is now accelerating so fast and heading towards Sweden because it is "very fast moving away from its natural environment." The specialist suggested that the whale could also swim south in search of a mate, as it is a very social mammal. The beluga whale is believed to be 13-14 years old, and she is "at an age when the hormonal levels are very high." It is believed that the whale has not seen any other beluga whales since arriving in Norway in April 2019.
For the first time, reports that a whale was seen in Norway appeared in the media in April 2019. As reported by CNN, his collar was equipped with mounts for video cameras, and the whale was also trained to follow ships. Presumably, he could have escaped from the military training base or lost the cameras on the way "on a mission." It was then that the whale began to be called Hvaldimir. Now he is about 14 years old, he is not afraid of ships and is friendly to people, he probably had a lot of contact with them earlier and was trained.
In April 2023, Naval News reported that Russia, after drone attacks in occupied Sevastopol, strengthened the defense of the city and the bay, including using combat dolphins. On the scheme of defensive structures, enclosures for combat dolphins are marked, which, according to the publication's analysts, must fight with the "combat divers" of the enemy.
In 2017, the Russian channel Zvezda reported on a program to train beluga whales, seals and dolphins for military use.