Russian Spy Ship Makes Surprise Visit to Havana

MarineLink.com
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 July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

Three Rescued on Lake Tahoe

The Coast Guard and multiple agencies rescued three people Wednesday evening after they were reported missing on Lake Tahoe. At 9:45 p.m., Coast Guard Sector

Fond Farewell to HMAS Tobruk

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retd), together with the Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert, MP,

Thai Navy Lobbies for More Submarines

The Royal Thai Navy claims it urgently needs more submarines to compete with other Asian countries.   The assistant commander made the claim aimed at persuading

News

Calais Port Blocked Again by Protesters

Protesting ferry-workers blocked road access to the northern French port of Calais with burning tyres on Friday, police said. The workers have in recent weeks

Royal Caribbean's Profit Rises 34 Percent

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the world's second-largest cruise operator by revenue, reported a 34 percent rise in quarterly profit as passengers spent more onboard

Hapag-Lloyd Adds Halmstad to Rotation

As one of the top global carriers Hapag-Lloyd offers a comprehensive service network and will add port of Halmstad, Sweden to the Nordic Short Sea Network. As

Eye on the Navy

Fond Farewell to HMAS Tobruk

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retd), together with the Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert, MP,

Thai Navy Lobbies for More Submarines

The Royal Thai Navy claims it urgently needs more submarines to compete with other Asian countries.   The assistant commander made the claim aimed at persuading

UK Navy Chooses Effer Crane Again

Cranes manufacturer Effer informs its marine crane has recently been installed aboard the U.K. Royal Navy’s patrol vessel HMS Mersey.   The new 5s 275M crane,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar
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: 0.2951 sec (3 req/sec)