Suspected Russian spy whale spotted off Sweden
May 30, 2023 - A beluga whale has reappeared off the coast of Sweden four years after it was seen in Norway wearing a harness, prompting speculation it was a spy trained by the Russian navy.
Named locally as Hvaldimir, the beluga first popped up off the coast of Norway in 2019, spotted by fishermen who noticed the whale was wearing a harness equipped with camera mounts. A fisherman alerted Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries, who said a clip on the whale’s harness read “Equipment St. Petersburg” – indicating it may have come from Russia.
“The whale seemed playful but our instincts said that it was also asking for help to get out of the harness,” Jorgen Ree Wiig, a marine biologist told CNN at the time. He said officials believed the whale had come from Russia and was trained by the Russian navy, which has “been known to train belugas to conduct military operations before.”
Russia has never addressed reports that the beluga could be a Kremlin spy, Business Insider said.