Russian spy ship off US coast operating in 'unsafe manner,' officials say

The Viktor Leonov, a Russian surveillance ship, has been sailing off the coast of South Carolina and Florida in the last few days, one official told CNN, adding that the ship’s actions were determined to be unsafe because it is not using running lights in low visibility weather and it is not responding to hails from commercial vessels attempting to establish its position in order to help avoid potential accidents.

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As a public vessel of Russia it only voluntarily follows the rules of the road just like American public vessels or the public vessels of any sovereign nation. I’m no fan of Russia but this is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

What bothers me about this PR announcement is its yet another example of the US cry-baby ‘woe is me’ bullshit. A better PR announcement would say how a Russian spy ship is off our coast, and we have dispatched a destroyer to to contain the menace and protect ships from it.

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That would explain the increased number of sorties from NAS Oceana recently.

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Yeh, ditch the loser “oh they are behaving unsafely” and just say yeh we are watching these a-holes and they aren’t fooling anybody

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I agree as long as it’s only 1 US destroyer. 1 Russian & 2 US Navy ships in close proximity, not listening to the radio & operating in an unsafe manner would tilt the odds in favor of the Russians.

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Why not just send a couple of jets to strafe it. Maybe a couple torpedo boats? If it doesn’t sink we’ll just claim it was an accident, problem solved.

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Hanging around off Kings Bay waiting to snoop a picture of the boomers most likely.

If I were Russian I would be pissed over the government wasting money on a spy ship on the other side of the Atlantic. Just send a friends request on Facebook or follow the people they want to watch on Instagram? There’s probably a million immigrants from Russia in the US who would be happy to rent out a room to the Russian government for them to conduct their spying operation if it’s absolutely necessary to be done here.

This “spy ship” is probably just a training exercise to keep the equipment lubricated & a to get STCW seatime for some guys who are about to retire out of their navy. Next year at this time I bet half of those guys on that ship will be DPO’s working the oil fields.

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Now that is funny and if the oil field recovers it may well be true, especially if they’ll work for peanuts.

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Apart from Cruise ships and US vessels trading domestically international shipping is now crewed by Asian or former Soviet Personnel. The last refuge for western mates and engineers is the oil patch.

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Not entirely true. Croatians don’t consider themselves former Soviet [they’d rather forget] neither do the Scandinavian country’s mariners. However you are correct that Western as in UK and USA are not being offered jobs as before, it’s all about the money. As far as USA mariners are concerned needing to offer them health insurance is a turn off for most employers. It’s an expense they do not wish to bear just to hire a mariner when mariners from most developed countries have their health covered by their home country. Wages, like water seek equilibrium. Like it or not that is the future.

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Help me understand. When VICTORIOUS was in the ECS, and being harassed by the PRC, it was not the US that was violating ROR.

Please provide an example to substantiate your “American Public Vessel” comment.
Thanks

You are correct about Croatian seafarers, many of whom are employed on cruise ships. The Scandinavian countries form part of Western Europe.

If one was to be a bit naughty… one would put together a dream team of mariners from the bridge of the Fitz and Helge Ingstad and put them in a chartered tanker to play about in the same water…
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I will now wash my mouth out with bourbon for suggesting such a bad idea.

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‘Send a destroyer to contain the menace’? Why? So the Russian spy ship can spy on the destroyer up close and personal? Why help them out?

Public vessels (warships, naval auxiliary and such) that are owned or operated by sovereign nations are often omitted from many international agreements. Their compliance is usually voluntary.

Imagine a conflict where a ship must do something that violates ROR, MARPOL, SOLAS or some similar agreement or else be discovered, outmaneuvered or destroyed. No nation would bind their ships to obey laws that would cause their loss or failure of mission. Therefore, public vessels are exempt.

For example, imagine a ship approaching the coast of an adversary to launch missiles or insert special ops. They would go in as unnoticeable as possible - maybe no lights or radar. No nation would direct their ship to announce their position because ROR says so.

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Yes, except I wouldn’t bother with a destroyer. Just send a USCG cutter out to shadow it.

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Public vessels of all nations are exempt from STCW and (IIRC) COLREGS.

I hear this lame excuse all the time on Marad and MSC ships.

Doesn’t make it any less true.