A Russian spy ship which has been “loitering” off the US east coast this week is capable of intercepting sensitive communications and underwater signals. The Cold War-era SSV-175 Viktor Leonov warship is rigged with high-tech electronic spying equipment that can monitor and collect data on US Navy sonar.

The intelligence-gathering vessel is also armed with anti-aircraft missiles and guns in the event of an attack or in case the crew needs to defend themselves from a threat. American officials have downplayed the spy ship’s presence in international waters, where it was just 30 miles from a major US submarine base on Wednesday. READ MORE