Russian spy ship spotted patrolling off Delaware coast

A Russian spy vessel patrolling near Delaware is the latest in a series of provocations carried out by Moscow, in an apparent bid to test the Trump administration.

    2017/02/15

NSFW    DOVER, DELAWARE — President Trump’s friendship with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin might soon be put to the test, as various provocations by Moscow have some U.S. officials pushing for new boundaries to be set.

Russian spy ship SSV-75 Viktor Leonov was seen patrolling in international waters off Delaware on Tuesday morning, CBS News reported. The ship stopped in Cuba, and from there worked its way up the east coast of the United States.

The vessel is expected to continue to a naval submarine base in New London, Connecticut, before heading back south.

The Viktor Leonov is capable of intercepting signals intelligence and measuring U.S. Navy sonar capabilities. It is also armed with surface-to-air missiles, according to Fox News.

This is not the first time Russian vessels have been deployed off the U.S. coast. Similar missions were carried out in 2014 and 2015, though this was reportedly a more common occurrence during the Cold War.

According to U.S. authorities, the Russian vessel is not seen as a threat, though officials are keeping an eye on it.

Officials confirmed on the same day that Russia had also deployed ground-launched cruise missiles banned by a 1987 treaty. Russia now has two battalions of the prohibited missile, one at Kapustin Yar near Volgograd, and another at an operational base somewhere in the country.

The two incidents come just days after four Russian jets — three SU-24 jet fighters and an IL-38 transport aircraft — conducted dangerously low flybys over U.S. missile destroyer the USS Porter in the Black Sea.
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