The Be-12 Mail seaplane entered service with the Soviet Navy in 1964… and is still used today by the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Apart from various maritime patrol missions, the dozen or so seaplanes still able to fly would now be used in spotting Ukrainian maritime drones.
An English reminder
Like every day since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the X account (formerly Twitter, link to publication) of the British Ministry of Defense published information on the war in Ukraine on October 2. In the middle of the information, it is possible to read that the Be-12s are now used in the hunt for Ukrainian drones:
“Naval Aviation (Russian) emphasizes maritime air patrol operations (PATMAR)most likely with a primary mission of advanced identification of surface drones (Ukrainian). A key asset in these operations is the Be-12 MAIL seaplane, designed in the 1950s, flying from bases in occupied Crimea.”
Several images and videos also confirm that these Cold War seaplanes are still used from Crimea (video below).