Victor Leonov CCB-175 Russian intelligence ship anchored in Havana on Tuesday with personnel of around 200. It was stated that the ship would be present there for three days.
That happened one day before the carrying of the first US-Cuba formal diplomatic talks. Cuba did not formally declare the presence of the ship but US defense officials were “not alarmed”.
The same ship also made incidental visits last February and March in Havana. Both parties were set to have conversations this week with the intention to return their relations to normal after the resentment lasting for more than 50 years. This happened after President Obama just lifted travel restraints to Cuba.
The Victor Leonov is part of the Vishnya class intelligence group of ships made for the Soviet Navy during the 1980s. The ship went on operating with the Russian Navy. This class of ships were massive, purpose-built and constructed for SIGINT and COMINT electronic intelligence using a great number of sensors. The information could be transferred to shore through a satellite connection antennas kept in two protective enclosures. The vessels were supplied with weapons-two 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
According to some statements, Russia had concluded a concord with Cuba in 2014 to open again an old surveillance base from the Cold War period. The base was positioned 150 miles from the US continental area.