Russian spy ship headed south, now off Virginia

NEW LONDON, Connecticut (WABC) -- The Russian spy ship that was hovering off the coast of New London, Connecticut, about 30 miles from a U.S. Navy submarine base, is on the move.

A US official said the Viktor Leonov started heading south, and by Thursday morning, it was 75 miles northeast of Norfolk, Virginia.

It is believed the ship will continue heading further south, still about 30 miles from the shoreline. US territorial waters extend 12 miles from shore, so the vessel is well into international waters.

The official said the Viktor Leonov spent about 24 hours in the waters off Connecticut, but it is unlikely the vessel was able to gain any significant intelligence given the brief amount of time it spent in those waters and the public exposure its visit received.

Its current path will likely take it past Kings Bay, Georgia, the other main Navy sub base on the East Coast. On its way northward, the Viktor Leonov briefly loitered in those waters, too.

The ship has been involved in three of the four Russian spy ship visits that resumed in 2014 following at least a decade without any such activity off the East Coast. The trip to Connecticut was the furthest north the ship has gone. null
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