A Russian nuclear submarine has been spotted with a “Z” marking in the Arctic Sea, raising fears among analysts that the Ukraine war may not be just a local affair.
Images of the Borei-A-class submarine Knyaz Vladimir with the notorious war insignia on its sail are making the rounds, according to a naval defense analyst. Hi Suton.
This comes as a Borei-A submarine was recently spotted at the missile loading dock in Severomorsk, near Murmansk. So it is likely that the Knyaz Vladimir submarine was fully armed with Bulava missiles while sporting the “Z,” Sutton wrote in an article that appeared in Naval News.
Knyaz Vladimir is the first modernized Borei-A submarine and can carry 16 Bulava ballistic missiles with a range of more than 8,000 kilometers (4,971 miles). It has been designed for the elimination of strategic enemy ground targets and for tactical missions, especially anti-surface and anti-submarine operations.
Russia has never shied away from using nuclear threats to dissuade NATO and the West from coming to Ukraine’s aid. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow “will use nuclear weapons to defend its sovereignty.”
The “Z” insignia, now a symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, is worn among Russian troops invading Ukraine from the south, mainly from Crimea. Other insignia used by Russia include ‘O’, ‘V’ and ‘Z’ inside a box, but it is the ‘Z’ that has caught the world’s attention. The letter “Z” is also seen on cars, buildings, and murals, supporting the war in Russia.
For the same reason, many believe that the cryptic mark is just a “sign of support”. However, there are fears as to whether it was officially recorded on the submarine or just at the initiative of the crew.
According to Sutton, either way it sends a message that the Ukraine war is not just a local affair.
However, no Russian submarine with the “Z” insignia has ever been seen, including the two that were sent to the Baltic Sea. According to Sutton, this could be because the move would be seen as “too provocative”.
Meanwhile, the Russian Navy has commissioned the world’s oldest known submarine, the Belgorod, which many claim would be “a platform for espionage and possibly nuclear weapons.”
According to media reports, the Belgorod was delivered to the Russian Navy earlier this month in the port of Severodvinsk. The modified version of Russia’s Oscar II-class guided missile submarines, Belgorod, is custom-built to accommodate the world’s first nuclear-armed stealth torpedoes. The analyst said that Belgorod’s induction could set the stage for another Cold War under war with US and Russian submarines following and chasing each other.