Russia’s Suspected Internet Cable Spy Ship Vanishes Off the Americas (excerpt)
(Source: Forbes Magazine; published Nov 19, 2019)
By H I Sutton
We previously reported that Yantar, a Russian spy ship suspected of loitering near internet cables, arrived in the Americas on November 8. She stopped briefly in Trinidad, before heading back into the Caribbean. She has not been visible on open source ship tracking systems since the early hours of November 10, which is unusual. Although her whereabouts have not been confirmed, based on analysis of previous trips it is possible that she is off the coast of the U.S.

Few unarmed naval vessels have gained as much notoriety as the Russian Navy's Yantar, a spy ship that specializes in finding objects on the sea floor. The suspicion is that these include internet cables and military communications.

Previous voyages have included visits to spots near to, or above, internet cables. I have analysed these tracks. For example, in October 2016 she conducted search patterns in the vicinity of cables in the Eastern Mediterranean. Her association with the cables was reinforced when state-affiliated Syrian Telecom announced a 10-day internet outage. This was attributed to "submarine cable repairs."

During this time the Russian Navy ship hovered off the Syrian coast in the vicinity of the cables. The outage turned out to be less than 10 days, only lasting about as long as Yantar’s operation. It is not difficult to imagine that Russia was assisting its ally in some way. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the Forbes website.

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