This Russian Spy Ship Just Came Within 30 Miles Of A US Navy Base

It’s the farthest north the ship has ever ventured.

ARussian intelligence-gathering ship ventured 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut on Wednesday.

Multiple news outlets reported that the Viktor Leonov — a Russian Vishnya-class intelligence ship — had parked itself off the coast of Groton. Groton is home to multiple US submarines, making it a prime target for an intelligence-gathering operation.

The Leonov parked off the coast of Connecticut on Wednesday. | Twitter/BuzzyFeeds

The US military is familiar with the Leonov but noted that this is the farthest north the ship has ever sailed.

Ships of this nature use technology geared toward intercepting communications signals, and a large dome-like structure allows the Leonov to send the information it’s gathered back to Russia.

The Viktor Leonov spy ship docked in Havana, Cuba in 2015. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The ship was spotted again on Thursday 65 miles off the coast of Virginia, heading south.

While alarming, this kind of maneuver isn’t breaking any laws. The US has a 12-mile buffer zone around its coastal borders, and the Leonov is outside of this area. The Russians also did something similar during the Obama administration.

In a separate incident on Feb. 10, Russian planes performed a very close flyby on a US destroyer, the USS Porter. One of the jets, which was apparently armed, got within 200 yards of the ship.

Two Russian jets flying close to the USS Porter on Feb. 10. | U.S. Navy/CNN

While this particular event occurred within a neutral area in the Black Sea and not close to the US coast, at least one US official has deemed these jets’ actions dangerous.

“USS Porter queried all aircraft and received no response,” Captain Danny Hernandez, the spokesman for US European Command, told Reuters. “Such incidents are concerning because they can result in accident or miscalculation.”

Needless to say, incidents like these are putting US military leaders on edge. Although officials say they aren’t taking any direct actions at the moment, the US Navy will be closely monitoring the actions of the Leonov.

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