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Russia claims US sub entered its waters as another Kilo-class sub enters Black Sea

Virginia-class submarine
Illustration: US Navy file photo of a Virginia-class submarine

The Russian defense ministry said a US Navy Virginia-class submarine entered its territorial waters on February 12, during a Pacific Fleet exercise.

According to the Russian defense ministry, Udaloy-class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov detected the US submarine near Urup Island, in the Kuril range, and communicated that it should surface immediately. The Virginia-class submarine reportedly ignored the demand, “deploying a decoy and leaving Russian territorial waters at maximum speed.”

The United States has already denied the report, saying that there was “no truth to the Russian claims to US operations in their waters.”

Russia reported on the intrusion as another one of its Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, the Rostov on Don started a Bosphorus transit, en route to the Black Sea on February 12. Rostov on Don is one of of six submarines in its class in service with Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

The entrance of the submarine in the Black Sea marks the continuation of Russia’s build up of naval forces in the region. Last week, a group of amphibious task group ships entered the Black Sea after getting underway from their Northern and Baltic Fleet homeports in January.

The movement of the Russian submarine follows notices to airmen (NOTAMs) issued by Russia this week that blocked Ukraine’s access to Baltic Sea ports ahead of planned missile exercises scheduled for next week.

All of the naval maneuvers are part of Russia’s massive build up on its border with Ukraine as tensions continue to grow. The US, as well as the majority of ally nations, have warned their citizens to leave Ukraine after the US warned that Russia could invade Ukraine “at any time.” Moscow has repeatedly said it did not plan to invade Ukraine, despite gathering more than 100,000 troops near the border.

Despite denying any plans on imminent attacks against Ukraine, Russia has started withdrawing its diplomatic staff in Ukraine.

Assessments by the United States continue to say that a Russian attack could happen as early as next week.