Russian and Chinese ELINT are constantly patrolling almost everywhere. So are ours, and similar ships run by our allies.
I can say this from long-time personal experience. usually, if they are lingering near a US Navy port, it is because they are watching for one of our ships to enter or leave.
but don’t trust me, here are some quotes from the Hartford and New London news-
“Two retired Navy submarine commanders downplayed the Russian presence, saying the ship presents little threat to U.S. security. Such Russian intelligence ships routinely patrol areas outside U.S. naval bases and track U.S. and allied forces’ naval exercises.”
“It’s been going on for years,” said Jeff Walsh, a retired Navy senior chief, who served 22 years aboard attack submarines and works at Electric Boat in Groton. Walsh said it’s amusing to people who understand the context. “It’s going to keep going on until everyone wants to play nice.”
“This is a ship that actually happens to visit the East Coast or at least our hemisphere with some regularity,” said Michael Petersen, director of the Russia Maritime Studies Institute at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I."
Sometimes, they get a little too close when we are conducting air operations, and we have to fuss at them on the radio. Otherwise, we ignore them. As far as I can tell, most of the panic about this is coming from U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney.
I agree that Russia is ramping things up. The Cruise missile thing is alarming, and what is more alarming to me is the fact that the Russians are violating the ceasefire with Ukraine. 49 incidents in the last 24 hours.
But the spy ship thing is not news.