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Russian ‘Spy Whale’ Spotted Near Swedish Coast

According to an organization dedicated to monitoring beluga whales, a purported former Russian spy whale has been sighted off the coast of Sweden.



The whale, locally known as Hvaldimir, initially appeared off Norway’s shoreline in 2019 while wearing a Russian harness. After years of gradually moving southward from Norway’s northern regions, the whale has recently increased its speed when leaving Norwegian waters.


OneWhale, the organization tracking the beluga whale, stated that the reason for this sudden acceleration remains unclear.


Approximately four years ago, this friendly beluga whale approached Norwegian boats near the island of Ingoya, located 415km (258 miles) away from Murmansk, where Russia’s Northern Fleet is stationed.


Upon discovery, the whale was found wearing a harness equipped with a GoPro camera mount and clips bearing the inscription “Equipment of St. Petersburg.” Subsequently, Norway’s domestic intelligence agency initiated an investigation, suggesting that the whale had likely undergone training by the Russian military.


Since then, the whale has become known locally as Hvaldimir, a combination of the Norwegian word for whale, “hval,” and the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin.