A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such instance during the Trump administration — and the same day it was learned the Kremlin had secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles inside Russia, U.S. officials told Fox News.
The Russian spy ship was in international waters, 70 miles off the coast of Delaware and heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles.
It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed.
Hours later, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that Russia had deployed ground-launched cruise missiles to two locations inside the country. The New York Times first reported that the Obama administration had previously seen the missiles — then in a testing phase — as a violation of a 1987 treaty between the U.S. and Russia that banned ground-launched intermediate-range missiles.
But Russia has pressed ahead with its program, apparently testing a Trump administration which has sought better ties with Moscow — but is also fresh off the loss of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday night in the wake of a scandal surrounding his communications with Russia.
The ship, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, last sailed near the U.S. in April 2015, an official said. It was also seen in Havana in January 2015.
Capable of intercepting communications or signals, known as SIGINT, the ship can also measure U.S. Navy sonar capabilities, a separate official said.
The Russian spy ship is also armed with surface-to-air missiles.
In the past, Russian spy ships have loitered off the coast of Kings Bay, Ga., home to a U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine base. During the Cold War, Russian intelligence gathering ships routinely parked off U.S. submarine bases along the East Coast
In September 2015, another Russian spy ship was spotted near the U.S. outside the submarine base in Kings Bay.
Full article: Russia sends spy ship near US coast, deploys banned missiles at home, officials say (FOX News)