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Russia's dolphins are feared to be gone after the bad weather conditions
The weather conditions have set back Putin's war efforts
Vladimir Putin's specially trained military dolphins may have been washed away this week after the worst storm in 100 years hit Ukraine.
Russia was forced to push back its Black Sea Fleet after the treacherous conditions were deemed too dangerous for sailing in.
And the weather is thought to have been so bad that it is now claimed the country's dolphin warfare squadron have been washed away.
For years Russia has trained anti-sabotage dolphins aimed at deterring enemy divers.
Sonar equipment attached to the mammals alert Russian military officials to any disturbances in the water.
The sonar equipment can also launch lethal strikes from underwater guns.
The dolphins were deployed in occupied Crimea in a bid to alert Russia to Ukrainian presence int he waters.
Independent defence analyst H I Sutton said that "preliminary analysis" indicated that "the dolphin pens in Sevastopol harbour are gone".
"I am 100 per cent confident that the dolphin pens have gone," he added.
"It is plausible that some or all of the trained dolphins have been freed."
Russia's dolphins had been positioned around Crimea
The defence analyst said that is was even possible that the dolphins were now dead.
Explaining how release could be fatal for the ocean creatures, he said: "It should be remembered that if the dolphins are indeed free they have been raised in captivity.
"It can be expected that they were reliant on their human trainers for food and may be unable to fend for themselves.
"Escape may thus be a death warrant.
"It is possible that the Russian Navy moved the pens in advance of the storm, but there is currently no evidence of this.
"I am awaiting clearer imagery for further analysis."
Giant waves and winds of up to 90mph stuck in the major blizzard that hit Ukraine, occupied Crimea and Russia this week.
The storm has killed at least 10 people and left hundreds of towns in Ukraine without power.
Nearly 2,500 people have also been rescued after the snowstorm hit the southern region of Odesa.
High winds have left drifting snow up to two metres deep in some places.