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While warships go to the Caribbean, Russia’s nuclear submarine follows Florida’s coast.

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In a dramatic move, Russia has moved its fleet, which was first berthed in Havana, sending its nuclear-powered submarine back north along the coast of Florida, while the remainder of its warships are sailing south toward Venezuela. The United States and Canadian naval forces have increased their monitoring efforts as a result of this action, which was verified by a U.S. official to McClatchy and the Miami Herald on Tuesday.

Tuesday, when the Russian submarine moved through international seas close to Florida’s coast, U.S. and Canadian warships, including destroyers and Coast Guard cutters, followed it closely. The official from U.S. Northern Command stressed that the U.S. Navy is closely monitoring the movements of these Russian warships, which are the first of their sort to be deployed since the Cold War and the first significant Russian naval presence in the area in five years.

Last Wednesday, the Russian flotilla—which comprises the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Kazan, the oil tanker Pashin, the salvage tug Nikolai Chiker, and the missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov—arrived in Havana. U.S. and Canadian armed forces have been continuously monitoring their arrival and subsequent movements.

Three guided-missile destroyers, the USS Truxtun, USS Donald Cook, and USS Delbert D. Black, were confirmed to be sent by U.S. authorities along with the Coast Guard cutter Stone and a Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft. For several days, these assets remained in the vicinity of Cuban waters, keeping a close eye on the Russian boats.

At first, American officials thought the Russian vessels would head to Venezuela for Caribbean military drills. Open satellite tracking data indicated that the Russian battle boats and the submarine had already traveled close to Florida coastlines on their way to Havana, one going within thirty miles of Key Largo.

Three American warships—the destroyer USS Truxtun, the Coast Guard cutter Stone, and the Canadian frigate HMCS Ville de Québec—positioned themselves close to Miami shoreline on Tuesday afternoon before making their way north along the Florida coast. Simultaneously, off West Palm Beach, the Canadian cruiser HMCS Margaret Brook was observed. It had moored in Havana with the Russian submarine and frigate.

Unmanned saildrones have also been used by the US military to forecast the path of the fleet. These cutting-edge drones were seen Tuesday morning close to Central Cuba. They were outfitted with sensors to keep an eye on submarines.

Regarding the fleet’s next destination, Russian officials have been silent. However, as reported by the Russian news outlet Tass, Admiral Gorshkov’s commander, Capt. Pavel Konov, made a suggestion on Monday about returning to “combat service.”

The Russian sailors visited a museum honoring Fidel Castro, went on leisure trips, and participated in conversation with interested people while in Havana. Among those who visited the Admiral Gorshkov were CNN and Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel.

Officials from the United States, Russia, and Cuba have minimized the importance of the deployment despite the strategic manoeuvres. Russian boats were not carrying nuclear weapons, according to Cuban authorities, and U.S. officials said there was no threat from the deployment. The regular presence of Russian vessels in the Western Hemisphere is not a reason for alarm, a Kremlin spokeswoman stressed.

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