Russian Military Fires Warning Shots at HMS Defender in Black Sea, UK Claims It Was ‘Gunnery Drills’

Earlier in the day, Moscow urged the United States and its NATO allies to stop military operations in the Black Sea region, calling instead for “multilateral efforts” aimed at maintaining stability, and for states in the region to resolve problems without unwanted “help” from outside powers.

A Russian warship has fired warning shots after the HMS Defender, a British Royal Navy destroyer, violated Russia’s maritime borders in the Black Sea, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced Wednesday.

Along with the naval manoeuvres, a Russian Su-24M attack aircraft carried out a mock bombing run against the British warship, according to the ministry.

According to the military, the British warship was warned that deadly force would be used if it violated Russia’s borders. The ship was said to have ignored the warning.

UK Denies Incident Took Place, Denies Warning Shots Were Fired

The UK Defence Ministry commented on the incident on Wednesday afternoon, denying that any warning shots were fired, and saying its warship was conducting an “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.”

Defence Minister Ben Wallace similarly indicated that the British warship was carrying out “a routine transit” from Odessa towards Georgia, and suggested that the ship was operating in an “internationally recognised traffic separation corridor,” “safely” exiting it at 9:45 am British standard time while being shadowed by Russian ships. Wallace echoed the…

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