NOTE: This is NOT the dolphin involved. It’s just a regular dolphin. It’s a little hard to find usable photos of Ukrainian combat dolphins.
Photo: Getty Images
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Dolphins are our friends, and that means sometimes they do our evil bidding and fight our wars for us, as friends do. But sometimes, sometimes, they go EVEN FRIENDLIER, by starving themselves until they die (????) because they refuse to fight for Russia (???????????).

The Ukrainian Navy “combat dolphins” were captured by Russian forces after they invaded Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, according Russian news site Gazeta.ru, and refused to listen to the special whistles that their Ukrainian handlers had originally used but were now in the hands of the Russian military. And then the unthinkable happened:

“The Russians received these whistles and all the rest of the special property of the corresponding military unit, but trained animals refused to not only interact with the new Russian coaches, but refused food and died some time later,” the official said.

RIP, principled and moral dolphins.

You may be wondering why Ukraine has weaponized dolphins. (I believe the question of whether or not weaponized dolphins would be willing to die in a hunger strike is considered well-settled at this point, if not, go read the preceding paragraph once more.) The truth of the matter is lots of countries have Fightin’ Dolphins. The U.S. Navy has its own combat dolphin program with the dolphins rumored to be equipped with cameras and potentially even darts to ward off swimmers. Russia has a program of its own as well, with dolphins especially prized for their “perfect teeth.”

We do not know how many teeth the Ukrainian dolphins had, but we do know that they will be missed.