On Wednesday, the Ministry of Defense of Russia stated that the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender crossed the Russian border and went three kilometers in Russian waters in the vicinity of Cape Fiolent (Crimea). After that, a border patrol ship from the Black Sea Fleet, acting in cooperation with the border guard force of the federal security service FSB carried out a warning firing, and the Su-24M aircraft carried out a “warning bombing” by dropping four bombs along the path of the destroyer. After that, the HMS Defender left the Russian waters. Russia also released a video of the ship being trailed. The video was shot from the cockpit of a fighter aircraft.
British MoD denial
The British Defense Ministry said its destroyer was making a peaceful voyage across Ukraine’s territorial waters in conformity with international law and denied any warning shots had been fired.
“We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity. No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path,” said the British MoD statement.
A BBC correspondent on the warship said HMS Defender was harassed by Russia’s military. He saw “more than 20 aircraft overhead and two Russian coastguard boats which at times were just 100m (328 ft) away.”
“Increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio – including one that said “if you don’t change course I’ll fire”. We did hear some firing in the distance but they were believed to be well out of range,” reports the BBC Defence Correspondent Jonathan Beale.
“Today, the British ship that participated in the ( NATO ) Sea Breeze exercise decided to enter the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. after he entered the territorial waters. He was stopped and left the territorial waters of Russia. I think this is a clear violation of the 1986 agreement on the prevention of incidents at sea,” said the Russian Ambassador to Britain Andrei Kelin in an interview with Channel 4.
On 13 October 2020, The Russians had claimed that they had expelled British destroyer D35 HMS Dragon in a similar fashion and the British MoD had denied the incident.
The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba called the incident as Russian “aggression” and called for a qualitatively new level of interaction between Kyiv and the alliance, and the chairman of the NGO “Ukraine in NATO” Yuri Romanyuk described the incident as a basis for Ukraine to immediately demand that the NATO of the Action Plan against membership (MAP).
“I don’t think that another Ukrainian hysteria will change the reluctance of the leading NATO countries to see it in their ranks,” said Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov in his reaction to the press.
On 12th June, it was reported “the British Navy Daring Class Type 45 HMS Defender, D36, is preparing to enter the Black Sea said the British Navy on June 10. The ship is reportedly currently anchored in Istanbul.“