The reasons Russian submarines have recently become more active in the Baltic Sea, including the Gulf of Finland, are related to the construction and testing of six new Black Sea-bound subs and the general increase in the activity of the Russian navy, Kaarel Kaas of the International Center for Defense Studies said.
“They are improved Kilo-class submarines, which are being built at a plant near St. Petersburg,” Kaas said on ERR radio, adding that the first vessels have been completed and are being tested, which explains why there have been increased sightings by civilian ships.
He said Russia's Baltic Sea submarine fleet only has two vessels, both old Kilo-class diesel powered ships. Kaas said a new generation Lada-class submarine was also in the region, but due to technical problems it was given to the Northern fleet.
Speaking about the situation in Sweden, Kaas said it was either a reconnaissance mission or a special forces operation.“Both US and Soviet forces listened in on underwater cables during the Cold War. Special submarines would dive down to the cables and install equipment, which allowed them to listen and record. Already since the Cold War [...] submarines were used to transport special forces for secret operations,” he said.