Russian jets and ships target British warship...

Dhaka, Wednesday   04 August 2021

Russian jets and ships target British warship

 International Desk

 Published: 09:56 PM, 23 June 2021  

Russian jets and ships target British warship

Russian jets and ships target British warship

More than 20 Russian aircraft and two coastguard ships have shadowed a British warship sailing near Crimea.

Moscow's defence ministry said that HMS Defender entered Russian territorial waters near Crimea while a patrol ship fired warning shots and a jet dropped bombs in its path.

Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said no warning shots were fired.

However, a BBC correspondent onboard the warship said it has been harassed by the Russian military.

Aircraft could be heard overhead as the BBC's defence correspondent, Jonathan Beale, filed a report from the deck of HMS Defender in the Black Sea. He described hostile warnings over the radio as the navy crew prepared for a possible confrontation.

Our correspondent, who had been invited aboard the ship before the incident happened, describes more than 20 aircraft in the skies above the British ship - and says two Russian coastguard boats shadowed the vessel, at times just 100 yards away.

Russia claims the illegally-annexed peninsula and its waters are its territory, but Britain says its ship was passing through Ukrainian waters.

"HMS Defender was taking the most direct and internationally recognised route between Ukraine and Georgia," a Downing Street spokesman said.

He added that Russia had given pre-warning to the UK that it was carrying out gunnery exercises in the Black Sea near to where HMS Defender was sailing.

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement that HMS Defender was carrying out a "routine transit" when it entered the internationally recognised traffic corridor.