WILMINGTON – Geopolitical competitors are constantly keeping tabs on each other, as we know, and the latest evidence of such is the appearance of a Russian spy ship trolling off the coast of the Old North State.
“The Russian spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, was spotted 100 miles south east of Wilmington, North Carolina, in international waters, according to a US military official, just days after the vessel was seen leaving the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain.
Two US military officials said the Russian ship is being tracked by the destroyer USS Cole and other naval assets.
Outfitted with a variety of high-tech spy equipment and designed to intercept communications signals, the Viktor Leonov was observed operating in the Caribbean last week, a US defense official told CNN.
It was unclear at the time where the vessel was heading, but the official said the spy ship has typically traveled up the eastern seaboard near Cape Canaveral, King’s Bay, Norfolk and New London in the past.
All these locations are home to US naval installations.”
Now this would be a good time for Gov. Roy Cooper to proclaim ‘Not off our coast.’
This particular Russian ship is conducting intelligence gathering operations, as it has been doing annually for the past several years. While officials note the ship’s route carries it close to U.S. Naval installations, North Carolina also sports some of the nation’s premier Army and Marine installations as well.
Despite the media pushing the narrative that Trump and Putin are too buddy-buddy, the Cold War era military jousting has been picking up steadily as Putin tries to reconstitute the power and influence of the former Soviet Union.
Other ships and submarines have been observed hanging out near the main data-transmission cables that connect the U.S. to Europe, raising fears that they are exploring ways to cut off the internet’s lifeline in the event of a conflict.
So if you’re a fan of deep-sea fishing, maybe swing by the Victor Leonov as they move up the Outer Banks and give them a one-fingered salute.