A Russian ship has been spotted off the coast of the UK stoking fears that it could sabotage undersea cables, according to a report. The research ship, which can attack infrastructure vital to the World Wide Web, was being tracked by the Royal Navy after it changed its direction.
The provocative diversion of the Akademik Boris Petrov comes a day after the Shetland Isles suffered a phone and internet blackout caused by severed wires on the sea floor. The outage is thought to have been caused accidentally by a fishing trawler rather than by an act of aggression, defense sources said, according to The Sun.
Akademik Boris Petrov left Kaliningrad A Week Back
The ship will sail through Scottish islands soon. The vessel left Kaliningrad on October 17 and its pre-decided route was to sail through the English Channel to the South Atlantic for a scientific expedition.
Ship Was Sailing Close to Critical Infrastructure in Norwegian Oil Fields
But the vessel was sailing in the North Sea close to critical infrastructure in Norwegian oil fields. According to the navigation data, it's being claimed that the crew intends to pass through sensitive waters off the Faslane naval base, which is home to UK's Trident nuclear submarines.
The vessel is then due to skirt the northwest of Ireland where critical infrastructure for transatlantic cables is located. The ship, which is a vessel of interest for Western militaries, is bristling with a high-tech kit for underwater surveillance and intelligence gathering, reported The Sun.
The Russian ship is registered as a research vessel but Norwegian media stated that the vessel functions as a spy ship. Recently seven Russians were arrested for flying drones and clicking pictures near sensitive places in Norway. Stavanger and Bergen airports were forced to close due to drone activities.