In the Black Sea, Russian forces fired warning shots at a British warship

“The squadron was warned in advance that the weapon would be used if the state border of the Russian Federation was violated. To the warning [laivas] did not respond, ”the ministry said in a statement.

According to the military, during this incident at 12 o’clock. 6 min. and 12 p.m. 8 min. the Coast Guard patrol vessel fired warning shots, and at 12 p.m. 19 min. Russia’s assault aircraft Su-24M carried out a “warning drop” in front of the Defender.

“12 p.m. 23 min. “Due to the joint actions of the Black Sea Fleet and the Russian FSB (Federal Security Service) Border Service, the Royal Navy Squadron Miner Defender has left the territorial waters of the Russian Federation,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

Russia’s occupied strategically important Crimean peninsula was occupied by Russia after the pro-Western Maidan revolution in Kiev in 2014 and annexed in March of that year. The international community does not recognize this move.

The Department of Defense said it was summoned by a UK military attaché in Moscow after Wednesday’s incident.

“A defense attaché has been summoned to the Russian Ministry of Defense at the British Embassy in Moscow due to a violation of the state border by the Russian Navy by a squadron bomber from the British Navy,” the ministry said in a statement.

On June 14, the Russian military announced that it had begun monitoring the actions of HMS Defender and the Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen when these ships arrived in the Black Sea to participate in the exercise.

Scanpix / SIPA Photo / British Squadron Miner HMS Defender

“It simply came to our notice then. No one is going to meet them, but they will definitely watch their actions, “Admiral Vladimir Komojedov, the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, told Interfax news agency earlier.

With the onset of the crisis in Ukraine, US and non-NATO ships began to visit the Black Sea more frequently and held joint exercises with Ukraine.

From 28 June to 10 July, Ukrainian and NATO forces will hold a major joint military exercise, Sea Breeze, involving about 4,000 troops, 40 warships and support ships, about 30 planes and helicopters.

Could it be a bluff?

Mark Galeotti, an expert at the Center for Slavic and Eastern European Studies at University College London, immediately recalled on Twitter that the waters off the Crimea are not Russian territory because the annexation of the peninsula is not recognized by much of the international community.

“Swimming in these waters – not too provocative – is an extremely important way to establish the rule of law over land grabbing,” the analyst writes.

HMS Defender, a squadron of miners, carried out a political mission in the Black Sea, demonstrating active involvement and support for Kiev. The mission was to remind Moscow that the annexation of Crimea is not forgotten and unacceptable.

“Moscow also reacted politically. First, the signals of the automatic identification system were simulated in an attempt to show that the HMS Defender and the Dutch frigate were aggressively sailing directly to the Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol.

Now Russia, as in the past, claims to have overtaken the Royal Navy. Warning shot reports can be complete or partial forgery – this would not be the first time. In any case, this situation does not show Russia’s power, but its weakness, “says Galeotti.

“Such actions can be used to show power and ridicule the ‘fleeing’ British.” But in fact, they show that Russia is not a mature great power, but a chaotic and angry state, “the expert added.

Another analyst, Timothy Ash, noted, however, that he does not remember when Russia fired on or around NATO warships after the collapse of the USSR. He considers Wednesday’s incident a “major escalation”.

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