IS THE RUSSIAN TUG OFF OF FLORIDA'S COAST THERE TO SUPPORT RUSSIAN SUBMARINES OR OBSERVE THE SPACE X LAUNCH?
A Russian Tug , the NIKOLAY CHIKER accompanied the Russian Navy spy ship VIKTOR LEONOV to Cuba in February. Since March it has been hanging out off of Florida near the Cape. It arrived just before the launch of the Space X's Falcon 9 rocket which is designed to launch the Space Shuttle Orbiter replacement. Of course we've never been very secretive about our space efforts. Also despite being a non signatory nation to the United Nation's Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) we regard visitors in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) who are not exploiting bottom minerals or benthic fisheries as perfectly within their rights and in International waters for all purposes. Those purposes could include observing a space launch or servicing submarines as long as we are not at war. This contrasts rather sharply with the attitudes of Russia and China who treat their UNCLOS recognized EEZs as territorial waters . The Dragon and the Bear were among the First to sign the treaties. They also seem to be the worst at living within them. But we digress.
The fact is that no one is going out there to run the tug off they can see whatever they are able to anywhere beyond 12 miles out. The Space X launch was delayed. After the delay the tug was observed moving up and down the East Coast of the United States, then dashed south for a port call at Curacao the crew trying rum and coke in lieu of their usual vodka and generally seeming to enjoy the sunny warm weather. But the liberty call didn't last long and the tug and crew are back off the Cape. There are those who say that the Tug is actually supporting Russian attack submarines. That's no concern of our either if it is true. While we ( AAB / AAIS) don't actually know where the Russian subs are at any given moment, the U.S. Navy knows exactly when and where they leave their pens and where they are at any given moment during their deployment. Did you ever wonder how a ragtag , under funded, loosely organized outfit like ours would know where a particular Russian tug and crew are at any given moment? Try our VESSEL TRACKING page for some links to sites that would allow anyone with a lap top and a little knowledge of commercial shipping and naval forces to develop a vessel tracking service that would have been the envy of Western and Soviet intelligence in the early days of the Cold War. Not only that but anyone can get for a moderate price satellite imagery of just about any place on earth at almost any moment in time. It kind of makes you wonder why so many governments all over the world including the U.S. Government lie so often to their citizens. It no longer takes big media and an expensive investigative team to uncover governmental "skulduggery", sometimes all it takes is a knowledgeable, self directed "fact checker" with a lap top. Of course it cuts both ways both our own NSA everyday monitors who know everything we publish and the boys out there on the NIKOLEY CHIKER could be reading this. Come to think of it , on 96 hours notice the NIKOLEY CHIKER could actually come in and moor at the Cape. The NSA guys and crew of the tug could meet in a local watering hole and compare notes on their favorite blogs from the "Great Catfish".
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