From this secret base, Russian spy ships increase activity around global data cables

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Source: The Barents Observer

Olenya Bay on the coast of the Barents Sea is home to a fleet of nuclear powered spy submarines and surface vessels which NATO now says are dramatically stepping up activities around undersea data cables in the North Atlantic.

Ever heard about Russia’s Main Directorate for Deep Sea Research? Well, better now than later. The Directorate, nicknamed GUGI, is a branch directly under General Staff of the Armed Forces. From its base 100 kilometers east of the border to Norway, a fleet of nine nuclear-powered submarines and a few surface vessels frequently sails out on special missions. Little is known about the nature of those voyages, except reports of significantly increased activity along subsea cables which carry global electronic communication.

In this article, the Barents Observer takes a closer look at the base in Olenya Bay and activities carried on. Through satellite images and other non-classified sources.

Russia is currently expanding its fleet of special purpose vessels aimed at seabed operations. Surprisingly little information is published about the vessels and their homeport north of Murmansk. A recent report, though, written by Member of the British Parliament Rishi Sunak, quotes several NATO officials openly claiming the vessels are «aggressively operating» near cables vital for global data communication.

One of the intelligence vessels in question is «Yantar» – which can be seen moored at the pier in the upper right corner of the satellite image in top of this article. She carries two small submarines thought to be capable of cutting cables or tapping them for information, the British report says.  Officially, the ship is used for deep-sea research and rescue operations.

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