So A Russian Spy Ship Is About 50 Miles Off The U.S. Coast Right Now

A multi-national armada of war ships underway in the Baltic Sea while participating in Exercise BALTOPS 2002. Pictured foreground-to-background are the Russian Navy Frigate, NEUSTRASHIMY, the US Navy (USN) TICONDEROGA CLASS: Guided Missile Cruiser (Aegis), USS ANZIO (CG 68), and the USS CAPET ST. GEORGE (CG 71). BALTOPS is intended to improve interoperability with allies and Partnership for Peace countries by conducting peace support operations at sea.

Speaking of Russians, surveillance, and stuff like that…

According to ABC News, a Russian spy ship that ventured into waters near a U.S. Navy submarine base in Connecticut, back in February, has returned.

The Viktor Leonov spy ship is now 50 miles east of the U.S. Navy’s submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia, according to a defense official. The ship traveled there from a port in Havana,Cuba, where it docked for five days.

The Leonov’s earlier visit off the Eastern Seaboard in mid-February drew international attention although American officials noted at the time that the visits have become a regular occurrence in recent years.

Back in February, the ship remained offshore for one day near New London, Connecticut, then traveled south, spending two weeks east of a U.S. Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia.

The Leonov then slowly continued south to Florida where it remained far offshore before stopping in Cuba.

Throughout its travels up and down the U.S. coast the Leonov has remained in international waters beyond the U.S. territorial limit that extends 12 miles out from shore.

U.S. officials in February downplayed the Leonov’s presence off the coast, noting the ship had made prior visits in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

U.S. officials aren’t so much alarmed as they are “watching.”

Back in February a Pentagon spokesperson, Captain Jeff Davis, said that they haven’t gone so far as to drift into U.S. territorial waters, so it’s lawful and the U.S. actually does the same.

Davis noted that the Leonov, which carries electronic surveillance equipment and some weapons for self-defense, “is not armed with any types of weapons that would present a threat to the US homeland or population.”

“We know from past activities that they are very interested in things like the submarine base at New London, Connecticut, and many other naval facilities from Florida to Virginia.”

Seriously.

Not to start the next “Red scare” or anything, but I’d not toss it off so casually.

For now, I suppose we’ll have to settle with believing the Pentagon knows what they’re talking about.