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Russian spy ship docks in Havana Harbor

U.S. Navy and Marines photograph Russian spy ship in Cuba
U.S. Navy and Marines photograph Russian spy ship in Cuba
Getty Photo

Has Russian President Vladimir Putin rekindled the Cold War? Has his successes in Syria, Iran, Iraq and other middle Eastern countries combined with the lack of American resolve revitalized Russia’s foreign plans?

On Wednesday, it Russia’s latest provocative foreign advancement, a Russian warship docked in Havana without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.

In a scene straight out of The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked in the cruise ship area of the port of Havana.

Why are the Russians there and what are is their mission?

The Vishnya is an intelligence ship carrying a crew of approximately 200 sailors. She first saw service in the Black Sea back in 1988. Seven years later the ship was transferred to the northern fleet, according to Russian media sources.

Unlike previous Cuban dockings of visiting Russian warships, Cuban authorities and state media not mentioned the Vishnya or its mission.

Americans and Russia fought a long Cold War from 1946-89 before the former Soviet Union collapsed. The countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation after the startling series of events.

To complicate the confusion for American intelligence, the ship’s presence comes as Cuba’s old ally, Venezuela, faces unprecedented violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Could the Russian display of their flag be a warning to the Venezuelan opposition?

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