Russian Naval Vessels Including Nuclear Class Sub Headed for Caribbean!

62 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, Northern Fleet nuclear-powered submarine makes historic port call in Havana

HAVANA (AP) Writes

— Four Russian ships, including a nuclear-powered submarine, will arrive in Havana next week, Cuban officials said Thursday, citing “historically friendly relations” between both nations and as tensions escalate over Western military support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Cuba’s foreign ministry said in a news release that the ships will be in Havana between June 12 and June 17, noting that none of them will carry any nuclear weapons and assuring their presence “does not represent a threat to the region.”

The announcement came a day after U.S. officials said that Washington had been tracking Russian warships and aircraft that were expected to arrive in the Caribbean for a military exercise. They said the exercise would be part of a broader Russian response to the U.S. support for Ukraine.

The officials said that the Russian military presence was notable but not concerning. However, it’s taking place as Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that Moscow could take “asymmetrical steps” elsewhere in the world in response to President Joe Biden’s decision to allow Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to strike inside Russia to protect Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

This deployment, involving the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, the frigate Gorshkov (which carries zircon hypersonic missiles), the fleet oil tanker Pashin, and the salvage tug Nikolay Chiker, comes during heightened tensions due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. The proximity of these vessels to the United States, which is only about 90 miles from Cuba at its closest point, adds another layer of complexity to the geopolitical situation.

US officials say Russia intends to conduct naval exercises in the Caribbean. While the arrival of these vessels is not seen as a threat, the US Navy & Air Force will deploy assets to monitor their movement and operations.

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was considering supplying weapon systems to its allies around the world near Western countries that have approved Ukraine to use donated weapon systems to target within Russian territory.

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Last time Moscow and Havana made joint plans involving nuclear weapons, tensions rose to near confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA. The Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 was resolved during some hectic days with hot-line talks between the White House and the Kremlin.

The Cuban Defense Ministry was first to announce the arrival of the Russian warships. By late Thursday, no official information is published by Russia’s Defense Ministry or the Northern Fleet about Havana as a first destination for the voyage that in May was said to last “for several months” on take place on “the world oceans.”

The Admiral Gorshkov is the lead vessel of Russia’s latest class of frigates. Commissioned in 2018, the warship can be armed with Tsirkon, Kalibr and Oniks cruise missiles, as well as Otvet anti-submarine missile.

Lead vessel of its class is also Kazan. The Yasen-M submarine was launched in 2017 and entered service with the Northern Fleet in 2021. This submarine can carry Oniks and Kalibr cruise missiles. The Defense Ministry in Moscow has previously said the Kazan will be armed with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.

The Kazan (K-561) is powered by a 4th generation KTP-6 nuclear reactor. The submarine is said to be the quietest in the Russian underwater fleet.">