The Russian SSV-175 “Vishnya” class spy ship Viktor Leonov, first spotted off the coast of Delaware, is now patrolling international waters off the coast of Connecticut. It is capable of capable of collecting signal intelligence — calls, radio signals, and other wireless communications — and can measure the SONAR capabilities of U.S. Navy vehicles. The ship is armed with Gatling guns and surface-to-air missiles, and it likely has a crew of about 140.
At this time, the Leonov has not left international waters and is not breaking any laws.
That’s not the case for cruise missiles newly deployed by Russia, however. On Tuesday, reports surfaced in The New York Times that Russia deployed two batteries of cruise missiles in apparent violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
The missiles were first revealed during the Obama Administration but were still in testing. The Obama Administration considered them a violation of the treaty during their testing phase. The new batteries seem to reveal that Russia has moved beyond testing to full production of the missiles.
U.S. officials have also confirmed aggression by four Russian jets in the Black Sea. The USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer, was conducting normal operations about 50 miles from the coast of Romania when it was “buzzed” by Russian jets, including fighters and a transport vehicle. “Buzzing” refers to aggressively close and low-level flying and is often interpreted as a show of aggression.
The shows of strength come in the midst of intensifying allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign and Cabinet have had extensive contact with Russian authorities.