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Crimea's Combat Dolphins Get Russian Passports

While many news outlets have been wondering what will happen to the Ukrainian navy in Crimea, the question that everyone has really been wondering about has finally been answered: The dolphins in Sevastopol’s combat unit will indeed become Russian.

The combat program trains these hyper-intelligent mammals to patrol open water and attach buoys to items of military interest, such as mines on the sea floor or attack scuba divers who get past security perimeters, reports RIA Novosti.

An anonymous source who works at the training facility told the Russian news service that the Ukrainian Navy lacked the funds for developments to the program so some projects had to be axed.

The source added that he hoped Russia would support the program, which also trains sea lions. We’re sure they will — we know how much Vladimir Putin loves all creatures great and small.

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Main Photo: Vladimir, the animal lover — Source: Kremlin.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Fight Over Tourist Visa Ban For Russians Is Taking Everyone For A Ride

High on the agenda of the Prague summit of Europe’s foreign ministers this week was a proposal to ban tourist visas for Russians, as punishment for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But it is ultimately a way to change the subject, and recalls Zelensky’s iconic remark after the war began.

Passengers arrive at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia

TASS
Anna Akage

It’s not a new question. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for a ban on tourist visa for Russian soon after the war began, and this week it became the center of the Prague summit of European Union foreign ministers.

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Some European Union nations voiced their support soon after it was mentioned by Zelensky, including former Soviet republics and current Russia neighbors, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They were followed by Finland and the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Poland. Hungary, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. Germany and France are looking for a compromise that would allow for visas for students, workers of culture and science, as well as people who need entry for humanitarian reason. Perhaps most importantly, however, the U.S. took an unambiguous position against the restrictions.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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