World's largest submarine, the nuclear-powered Dmitriy Donskoi was found off Finland while cruising through Baltic Sea Monday.
The submarine was on the way to Kronstadt port in Russia when it was spotted. Its arrival coincides with a week-long Russian-Chinese joint naval exercise beginning in the Baltic Sea on Monday.
Some ten military vessels and about a dozen aircraft and helicopters from Russian and Chinese militaries will participate in the drills, Russian officials were quoted as saying by Yle Monday.
The Finnish Defence Forces confirmed that the nuclear submarine Dmitriy Donskoi passed by Finland in international waters of the Baltic on Monday. The sub is powered by nuclear reactors and has a capacity to carry 200 nuclear warheads and 20 missiles.
The Dmitriy Donskoi, cruising from its home port in the White Sea, is reportedly headed towards St. Petersburg in order to participate in a naval parade this weekend. The vessel is so large that in the relatively shallow Baltic Sea it is unable to navigate completely underwater, offering a spectacle to anyone watching the water as it passes.
The vessel arrives in the region at a time of heightened readiness thanks to joint Russian-Chinese naval exercises dubbed 'Joint Sea'. The manoeuvres will last one week, but precisely where in the Baltic they take place remains unknown.
Russian authorities say that some 10 military ships and about 12 aircraft and helicopters from both Russia and China will participate in the drills. Three of the vessels are Chinese, one of which is a modern, missile-equipped flagship.