Russian Spy Ship Makes Surprise Visit to Havana
Thursday, February 27, 2014
(AFP, Adalberto Roque)

By Rosa Tania Valdés, Reuters

A Russian spy ship slipped into Havana Bay for an unannounced visit during a period of turmoil in Ukraine and displays of military strength elsewhere in the world.

The Viktor Leonov SSV-175, part of the Vishnya class of intelligence ships, quietly entered Cuban waters earlier this week and was docked at a cruise ship terminal on Thursday, its crew casually taking in the view of the old colonial section of the Cuban capital as passers-by gawked.

Russian warships have come and gone in Cuba since the collapse of the Soviet Union, usually with much publicity and the opportunity for Cubans to visit the ship. This time there was no mention in the Cuban state-run media.

Russia has been stung by recent unrest in Ukraine, where a pro-Russian government was ousted in favor of one seeking an alliance with the West, and where Russia has a major naval base near Sevastopol on the Black Sea.

Russia on Wednesday put 150,000 troops on high alert in Central and Western Russia, including areas bordering Ukraine, in a show of strength. Moscow denied the drill was linked to events in Ukraine.

On Wednesday in Moscow, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia planned to increase its military projection abroad, including in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The Russian Navy intelligence vessel in Havana was commissioned by the Soviet Union in 1988 near the end of the Cold War, outfitted with electronic surveillance equipment and missile defense systems and is a signals intelligence asset of the Russian Navy, according to the Russian government.

The 94-meter (309-foot) ship was receiving food, but no maintenance or fuel, port employees said.

A Russian embassy official described the visit as "friendly," saying members of the crew joined Havana officials in laying a wreath at a monument to Soviet soldiers.

"It was scheduled to stay three or four days. It should leave tomorrow," said the embassy spokesman, who declined to identify himself.

The former Soviet Union and communist-run Cuba were close allies for decades, and the Soviets built a major intelligence base on the outskirts of Havana that was closed soon after the demise of European communism.

During the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, two U.S. ships including the USS Mount Whitney sailed into the Black Sea as part of U.S. security measures.

(Reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes; Writing by Marc Frank; Editing by Daniel Trotta and David Gregorio)

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Höegh Names SSL as its Agent in Finland

Höegh Autoliners appointed Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics, which has already worked with the Norwegian ocean carrier in Sweden and Norway for several years, as its agent in Finland, effective Dec.

Rieber Amends Dolphin Deal

Norwegian shipping company GC Rieber Shipping ASA has entered into an agreement with Dolphin Geophysical to increase Dolphins competitiveness in a challenging market.

Abu Dhabi Ports Welcomes New Cruise Season

As Abu Dhabi's new Zayed Port cruise terminal opens by the end of this year, the number of cruise ships docking in Abu Dhabi is set to increase by a fifth this season, reports the National.

Eye on the Navy

Navy Kicks Off Tours with Industry Program

The Navy kicked off a new program Oct. 5, designed to give high performing officers and Sailors experience at large corporations for approximately one year.

USS Porter Hosts Career Day

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) hosted a group of 9th and 10th grade students from the International School of Vlore, Albania

Yemeni Govt, Saudi-led Forces Retake Red Sea Strait

Loyalist Yemeni troops and Gulf Arab forces have seized the Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden from Houthi fighters, reasserting control over the strategic sea lane,

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1590 sec (6 req/sec)