Russian Nuclear-Powered Submarine Arrives in Cuba Amid US-Russia Tensions

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A Russian nuclear-powered submarine and accompanying naval vessels arrived in Cuba, marking a significant military presence close to the United States amid ongoing US-Russia tensions.

A Russian nuclear-powered submarine, along with other naval vessels, arrived in Cuba on Wednesday for a five-day visit, demonstrating a significant show of force as US-Russian tensions escalate.

The submarine Kazan, which Cuban authorities assert is not carrying nuclear weapons, was accompanied by the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, an oil tanker, and a salvage tug. The Kazan and the Admiral Gorshkov, one of Russia’s most advanced warships, were observed just off the coast of Havana, approximately 90 miles (145 km) from Florida.

The tanker Pashin and the tug, both flying the Russian tricolor, entered Havana harbor early Wednesday morning.

This visit coincides with a meeting in Moscow between Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, as the two former Cold War allies seek to strengthen their ties.

The deployment of the Russian military near the United States, particularly the powerful submarine, comes amid heightened tensions over the ongoing war in Ukraine, where the Western-backed government is resisting a Russian invasion.

Last month, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual May 9 military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

During the Cold War, Cuba was a significant ally of the Soviet Union. The placement of Soviet nuclear missile sites on the island led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, bringing the United States and the Soviet Union close to war.

The relationship between Russia and Cuba has deepened since a 2022 meeting between Diaz-Canel and Putin.