Swedish signals intelligence officials first heard an emergency call on Thursday evening, the newspaper said. Fourteen hours later, at around midday on Friday, a foreign vessel was spotted in the Stockholm archipelago.
Sweden intercepted further communications after it began its military operation in the waters off Stockholm, as encrypted messages were relayed between transmitters in the Stockholm archipelago and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad, SvD said.
The Swedish military said it could neither confirm nor deny the report.
An underwater craft in distress can be difficult to manoeuvre, which might explain why it was spotted above the waterline, the newspaper said.
A damaged submarine would need help from a support vessel, SvD said, adding that a Russian-owned oil tanker, the NS Concord, had been observed circling in international waters near Stockholm.
It’s hardly the first time the Russians have put subs deep in Swedish waters. The infamous 1981 Whiskey on the Rocks incident pops into my mind.
Coupled with recent aggressive Russian air patrols near Swedish territory, one suspects that the prime target here isn’t really so much Sweden as it is the Baltic states. Attempting to show an ability to operate with impunity near Sweden and the western powers is a means of cowing small nations such as Latvia.