Reports from early Tuesday afternoon (EDT) show 14 sailors dead after a Russian nuclear sub caught fire. Russian media detailed that inhaling combustion products led to the deaths of those 14 aboard the vessel.
Thankfully, the remaining passengers were able to put out the fire on the boat, which media has reported was somewhere off of Russia’s northern coast. But shortly after, both Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence have seen their scheduled events canceled suddenly, both rushing to their respective capital cities for meetings.
RBC, a Russian news outlet, was able to identify the boat as the “Losharik”, a critical submarine for the country’s deep-sea research programs. It has a carrying capacity of roughly 25, and few people know the details of what the vessel really does. Like many Russian military projects, the specifics of the nuclear sub are highly secretive.
Pence and Putin Diverted
On Tuesday, Mike Pence was supposed to speak in New Hampshire about opioid addiction. The planned location was Granite Recovery Center in Salem, but Air Force Two did not reach its intended destination.
A senior admin official tells me Pence's canceled trip has nothing to do with health of the VP, or the president. The official said Pence hadn't left DC yet when the call was made.
The official also said it has nothing to do with Putin's meeting w/ Russia's defense minister
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) July 2, 2019
White House officials have since called the turnaround an “emergency” situation but asserted that it does not relate to the health of Pence or of President Donald Trump.
At Salem NH opioid event w the @VP, spokesperson just came onto podium and announced event today is canceled because #AirForce2 was called back to Washington DC so Pence could attend to an emergency. #fitn @NBC10Boston @NECN #mapoli
— Sean Colahan (@SeanColahan) July 2, 2019
Nearly simultaneously, Vladimir Putin canceled his plans to appear at the Rivers of Russia forum. Instead, he held an emergency meeting with his defense minister, Sergey Shoygu. Putin’s deputy will speak in his place at the scheduled event.
Is the Nuclear Sub Related?
The Russian government, like the United States, has not yet given a reason for the sudden cancellation. This, along with the eerie timing, has caused some speculation that the events are related. However, there has not yet been any confirmation of this. Reporters at Aurora Intel have denied any connection between the meetings, citing White House officials.
It is also unclear whether these events are related to recent developments in the conflicts in Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
71 Republic takes pride in distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.