Report: Russian Spy Ship Operating Off The Coast Of South Carolina
The Viktor Leonov, a Russian surveillance ship, has been sailing off the coast of South Carolina and Florida for the last few days and U.S. officials have added that it is operating in an “unsafe manner,” according to CNN.
The Coast Guard warned mariners in the area of the Russian ship’s presence and behavior in a “Marine Safety Information Bulletin.”
“The United States Coast Guard has received reports indicating that the RFN VIKTOR LEONOV (AGI-175) has been operating in an unsafe manner off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. This unsafe operation includes not energizing running lights while in reduced visibility conditions, not responding to hails by commercial vessels attempting to coordinate safe passage and other erratic movements,” the bulletin read.
“Vessels transiting these waters should maintain a sharp lookout and use extreme caution when navigating in proximity to this vessel. Mariners should make reports of any unsafe situations to the United States Coast Guard,” it continued.
The Russian ship’s presence off the U.S. coast comes as the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ross, bolstered its presence in the Black Sea during “a scheduled port visit” to Constanta, Romania.
Since Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, military presence in the Black Sea has increased. Russia regularly shadows American warships in the area.
“Crimea has really more or less, according to our civil society folks, has become an armed camp,” the U.S. State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Rob Destro told reporters on Monday.